Sinner Or a Saint
"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
~ 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!Read more ›
Tamar has definately created her own niche in a larger overall genre. I will say, however, that if you like artists such as Tori Amos, Tina Arena, the Sounds, Alexa Ray Joel, Vanessa Williams, etc. artists along those lines, then you will most likely really dig this entire album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good CD. Her voice is amazing and the music is relaxing. Would recommend this CD :) I love it!Published on January 2, 2013 by jennifer rubino
I'm thinking may of these "reviews" may be a joke, or possibly sarcasm. Kaprelian is downright awful. Out of tune, absolutely no style or musicality. Read morePublished on June 3, 2011 by Tide User
Tamar is such a great singer! Her songs are so uplifting and inspirational, and EVERYBODY should listen to this album! :)Published on September 19, 2010 by Kelly Stanley
Tamar Kaprelian debut album Sinner or Saint is full of melodic smooth soft amazing songs. They touch upon all walks of life and alot of people can relate to them. Songs are great. Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by DJSpyke
Okay, so I started off listening to "New Day" back when it first came out as a debut single, and I was instantly hooked. Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Theodore Oing
This album is awesome, I love every single track on this album. Tamar is a amazing singer/songwriter. Read morePublished on September 16, 2010 by Alow
When I heard of Tamar, I honestly expected her to be like all the other music you hear on the radio. But once I listened, I found out that was very far from the truth. Read morePublished on September 16, 2010 by KrystinaTheAlien