Two years after releasing Kaleidoscope Heart Sara Bareilles released a 5-song EP titled Once Upon Another Time. Sara has always been known for her vocal ability and honest lyrics, but this new EP shows Sara like we’ve never seen her before. Both her lyrics and voice seem more piercing and she’s much more versatile. I wasn’t even aware of this EP until I did a post on “Sweet As Whole,” so I wasn’t expecting much when I downloaded it. I was pleasantly surprised. This EP encompasses everything we’ve ever loved about Sara, but it also shows that she’s constantly growing as an artist.
Track by track and overall reviews below!
Vocal Delivery: 4/5
Lyrical Content: 4/5
Overal Production: 3.5/5
Once Upon Another Time – Sara Bareilles does acapella so well. Kaleidoscope Heart started off with nothing but the sweetest harmonies, and that’s exactly how Once Upon Another Time begins. Sara sings of freedom and happier times for almost three minutes before she’s backed by any instrumentals. This song sets the tone for the rest of the EP perfectly by showing off Sara’s strong vocals and painting a vivid picture of a girl who no longer believes in fairytales. 3/5
Stay – Sara Bareilles rips your heart apart with “Stay.” The track is accompanied by a simple guitar and piano, but the only instrument that stands out is Sara’s voice. “They may be lies, but say that we’ll be alright if we stay tonight.” This ballad goes over perfectly and if you’re not an emotional wreck by the end of the bridge you’re incapable of feeling. Seriously. 3.5/5
Lie To Me – “Lie To Me” shows Sara like we’ve never seen her before. The entire song is filled with angry remarks like “Run your mouth I bet I could catch it/You sound just like a Judas” and “If I take you at your word then I’m empty handed.” Add tribal drums and hunting violins to the mix and you’ve got something pretty irresistible!! 4/5
Sweet As Whole – This song is HILARIOUS! It begins with a calm Sara singing over a piano about all things sweet, then quickly changes into something equivalent to CeeLo’s “F*** You.” Sara keeps her sweet tone as she sings “F*** that guy he’s just an a**hole,” and refers to her target as a sad “sack of sh*t” It won’t get her nominated for a Grammy, and it’s not her best work, but it’s seriously pretty comical. Who said listening to sappy love songs was the best way to get over a heartbreak anyway?! 2.5/5
Bright Lights and Cityscapes – Sara Bareilles continues to make me love her with “Bright Lights and Cityscapes” a song full of vividly depressing metaphors. She’s played the tough girl on all of the other songs on this EP, but this song shows her breaking down her wall and being vulnerable. “You’d never have to ask/I’m gonna love you/Till you start looking back/I’m gonna love you so right I wouldn’t need a second chance,” Sara sings in shaky vocals over the repetitive piano melody. Like the other songs It’s chilling, and so so good. 4/5