Uncle’s Critique

3 of 5 party cups

Sara Bareilles is an artist that I must see in concert before I leave this Earth. Her method of penning songs is refreshing, enchanting and at times poignant. For those of you who don’t know Sara, let me enlighten you. Sara Bareilles is a Grammy nominated songwriter, singer, and author. You may remember her hits Love Song or Brave. She earned a Tony nomination for songs she composed for the hit Broadway musical The Waitress. Last year, she played Mary Magdalene alongside John Legend in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. Sara was nominated for an Emmy for this role. With all that being said, the woman is BAD!


Amidst the Chaos is Sara’s sixth album. “I want people to feel like it’s going to be okay, but not give up.” This is one of the take aways Sara wants people to hold to when listening to this album. Several of the songs seemed to be inspired or derived from the aftermath of Trump’s presidential victory. When I first heard that all of Sara’s break up songs on this project are about President Barack Obama, I thought it was comical. However, I think for some people who were truly enamored by President Obama feel his departure from office deeply and would do anything for that old love to come back and kiss away the social and political heartache faced over the past two years. On No Such Thing , Sara croons, “tell me how to start. What comes after you? I am in the dark. Love what now? No such thing as over you.” Damn! If I Can’t Have You is another sad love song about missing that lost love! Michelle Obama better watch out for Sara. She is TOE UP behind Barack!

I’ll be frank, Amidst the Chaos is no Blessed Unrest. The songs didn’t truly encapsulate me at first listen. Nevertheless, Sara’s vocal and songwriting abilities or undeniable which is evident on Saint Honesty. The lyrics are so heavy and heartfelt. A song about transparency with your love at any cost despite the pain that may emanate. It’s the one song I kept on repeat.

I love a good song featuring John Legend even if its context is somber as it details the courage of people fleeing their homeland for a better life in the U.S. “Hope is all that you have. So say the Lord’s prayer twice. Hold your babies tight. Surely someone will reach out a hand.” I almost got a little choked up listening to this and reflecting on the state of humanity. A Safe Place to Land is a beautiful duet built on hope.


In the first verse of Armor, Sara reflects on the story of Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden. When she asks, “how the hell did Eve end up with all of the damn blame?” The feminist in me hollered out. Armor , in my opinion, is a female empowerment song which provides a not so subtle reminder that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Did I mention Sara is playing the hell out of the piano on this track?

Fire is a mid-temp song that has a nice groove and cool way to open up the album. Other standouts include Orpheus , Poetry by a Dead Men and Wicked Love. If you have an appreciate for meaningful lyrics, tactful vocal arrangements and pure musicianship, you’ll dig Sara Bareilles.