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Sinner Or a Saint

14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 24, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

On her debut album, Tamar Kaprelian sings about being "a delicate soul." "Old soul" is more like it--if you consider the classic pop stylings of 30 or 35 years ago; the remnants from another lifetime, as they literally are for this 22-year-old singer/songwriter. Growing up, Kaprelian gravitated toward the rock classics her musician father schooled her in.

"I'm definitely an old soul when it comes to music," she says. I grew up only listening to all those records my dad would play in the house, from Queen to Paul McCartney to Sting. My dad used to play Billy Joel songs to put me to sleep. Asked what 21st century artists she listens to, she reels off Mika, Coldplay, Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, and John Mayer--basically, all the contemporary artists who are as steeped in the great music of the `70s as she is.

Kaprelian has a classic story of being discovered more or less at random. Actually, she's got two or three of those stories. Her first discovery came at age 15, when a talent scout tapped her on the shoulder at her local mall after watching her sing with a school group for a fundraising event. One contact led to another until, right as she was about to go off to UC Berkeley at age 18, she was instead personally signed to a major label by one of the world's most famous record company chiefs.

That particular fairy tale was not her destiny. That would-be debut album was scrapped and Kaprelian and her former label parted ways. Then, in odds akin to being hit by lightning twice, she got discovered more or less off the street again.

Mindful that some other singers had broken through with covers, Kaprelian's producer suggested that she film herself doing a solo cover of OneRepublic's "Apologize" to post on YouTube. "He said, `You've always liked Ryan's style of writing, and it's piano-based. What have you got to lose?' Soon after, she learned OneRepublic was sponsoring a contest to see who could do the best cover of "Apologize," so she uploaded it. Weeks later, she was getting twin messages from people at Interscope - one informing her that she'd won the contest, and another inviting her to come in for a meeting.

And here's where she really rolled a seven: "Honestly, I feel so lucky, because Interscope let me make the record I wanted to make. My A&R guy was like, `Do what you want. I trust you.'" The rewards of that mutual faith are abundant.

The ten songs on Kaprelian's debut album are full of dashed hopes, fierce renewal, and proud vulnerability. The singer expects to bond with a younger audience, but has already been surprised at how her music clicks with listeners of a certain age, too--which maybe should be no surprise at all, given its lyrical depth and roots in rock classicism. By the end of the album, listeners both young and old are certain to feel the emotional connection. Or, as she said, "Spend a couple hours and we're all best friends." How was it that a piano woman from another generation once put it? Oh yeah: You've got a BFF.


1. New Day
2. Sinner or A Saint
3. Delicate Soul
4. Raining in Paradise
5. Should Have Known Better
6. March Mornings
7. Transcend
8. Raw
9. Purified
10. The Otherside (Aleatory)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • ASIN: B003U82O8A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,349 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Senh on August 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
For those of you who may not be familiar with Tamar Kaprelian, she was the winner of OneRepublic's youtube contest for the best Cover version of "Apologize" that eventually led to her receiving a record deal with Interscope.

I attended a concert in Philadelphia last month for Boyce Avenue without knowing who the opening artist would be, and I have to say that Tamar absolutely stole the show. After hearing Tamar perform live, I immediately fell in love, she is one of those artists that actually sounds amazing live as well as on studio versions. I only wish I knew about her before, aside from the Apologize cover, so I could've enjoyed her music sooner (BTW, she's very nice and friendly in person).

After listening to her album, it becomes evident that she has put alot of emotion into her music. The album starts off with the title track "New Day," which is also the lead single, shows off her lyrical writing ability. The song shows a person being in a dark/sad/hopeless state of mind or situation before the realization that there's always a better tomorrow once you pull yourself out of it. (We've all been there, so anyone can relate, and it's catchy too!)

The second track, Sinner or a Saint, is co-written with Ryan Tedder and Brent Kutzle from OneRepublic. This track is essentially about the different sides all of us have. From the beginning, the influences from OneRepublic becomes evident, which isn't a bad thing at all. I love this track, and the beat reminds me of "Everybody Loves Me" from OneRepublic's "Waking Up" album.

Although I love every track on this album, I'll point out some of my other favorites to avoid this review getting too long.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sam Trinh on August 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I have been a big fan of Tamar Kaprelian since she first won that One Republic Contest a couple of years ago. These days, it is rare to find music within the category of pop that actually has meaning and something to think about. As a young child, I loved pop music and then incrementally moved on to rock/metal type music due to the degradation in quality of pop music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cassie on August 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
WOW. What an incredible first album for this beautiful singer. I bought it the day it came out and have been listening to it on replay ever since. Song by song analysis:
~ New Day: A gorgeous first single. Very catchy tune and what a spectacular message about recognizing a change in your life.
~ Sinner or a Saint: Definitely the most fun song on the album. It's easy to see how Tamar was helped out by the One Republic guys on this one--it sounds a lot like their stuff. Great anthem!
~ Delicate Soul: This song is produced perfectly to have a fun melody but also to showcase Tamar's voice. One of my favorites.
~ Raining in Paradise: This is up there as one of my top few songs on the album, but it's so hard to choose! The simplicity of the music is breathtaking and so pure.
~ Should Have Known Better: Not one of my favorites, but still a good song.
~ March Mornings: How brave of Tamar to take such a risk on a song by only having her voice and strings in the background. It paid off in a big way with this one. The string section at the end is so beautiful to me.
~ Transcend: This one probably gets my award for favorite song. It's amazing how her voice can go from so gentle and sweet in the first chorus to so powerful by the end. Pulls my heartstrings every time I hear it.
~ Raw: The music transition at the beginning (from the softer verse sound to the intense chorus beat) floored me from the first time I heard this. This song brilliantly shows how music (without even lyrics or singing yet) can stir emotions. Strong and powerful and, again, one of my favorites.
~ Purified: This one hasn't grown on me so much yet, but Tamar's voice is beautiful on it.
~ The Other Side: I feel like I'm overusing "beautiful," but it is!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sky7 on September 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I just discovered Tamar last month from an add on facebook relating her to OneRepublic (which is one of my favorite bands). I decided to give a listen and the next day I went to buy this album. I absolutely love it. This album is exactly like its title; Sinner or a Saint. There are some songs that have a dark mood to them (these are more rock and have a heavier sound to them) like, "Sinner or a Saint", "Raw", and "Should have Known Better". Others are much lighter sounding (usually optimistic)and refreshing- "Delicate Soul", "Purified", and "March Mornings". The rest of the songs are borderline between the whole light/dark sounds (usually slow with the exception of "New Day") : "New Day", "Raining in Paradise" (a lullaby), "Transcend", and "The Otherside". What I love most about this album is that you can usually, at some point, relate to all these songs. Not to mention, Tamar has an amazing voice. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to listen to OneRepublic, Sara Bareilles, Paramore, or rock/pop in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alow on September 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is awesome, I love every single track on this album. Tamar is a amazing singer/songwriter.

New Day - Tamar's first single, and people have heard this from the MTV show The Hills. This song is full of hope and inspiration. To me its about moving forward looking into the future and not the past.

Sinner or a Saint - Different from the rest of the tracks. A song that kinda shows that Tamar has two sides of her and just a kinda fun song to listen to

Delicate Soul - title track from her EP that was released about a year ago, was a great track to listen to

Raining in Paradise - Tamar wrote this ballad for her future kids as a lullaby and it really is a nice and soothing song, this song is a lot slower than the other songs before this track.

should have known better - up beat song thats fun to listen to while cruising in your car

Transcend - In my opinion this is the track where u can really heard more so of Tamar's emotions in the song, don't get me wrong you can hear a lot emotions from the other songs but this song seems to bring it out more and can get give you goosebumps

Raw - Probably my favorite track on the album, it just sounds really awesome, i think because of the strings in the beginning and the beat of the song

the otherside(aleatory) - another one of my favorites, another one of those songs that will/can touch your heart and soul and the aleatory at the end is just so peaceful.

overall i was not disappointed at all from purchasing this album.
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