Oh man, I took a chance on picking up this record and believe me, you should too. This is a fantastic record. This is the debut of Australian Sarah Blasko. One would never know it is her first record because she sounds so self-assured and poised.
The Overture & the Underscore is just tremendous from beginning to end. Cross Carina Round with Bjork if she was more mainstream and you have an idea of what's going on here. Or Lisa Loeb with Mae Moore. (And she looks a bit like Karen O.)
"All Coming Back" begins quietly with just a guitar and the clear, passionate vocals of Blasko. The guitar gets more forceful towards the end and then the drums kick in just for a minute, leaving the song to back out the way it began. "Beautiful Secrets" the seductress, slow mambas past you, teasing you, just ever out of grasp (OK sorry, too much Bjork lately, I guess). This song is the highlight of the record. It starts off modestly but slowly it builds with the vocals taking centre stage. This is worth the price of admission alone, folks.
"Always Worth It" is more uptempo and as breezy as a hilltop picnic. "At Your Best" is almost Beatlesque in some weird Strawberry Fields way that I can't fully comprehend. "Don't U Eva" is the second best cut here, driving and urgent with the unperturbed vocal over top, making it a great combo.
The rest of the cuts are all shiny little jewels that should be properly explored in the privacy of your usual listening area. And that considerate Sarah. She even included guitar tabs to some of the cuts. How's that for helpful?
If you like singer-songwriter records that are full of clear, impassioned vocals, unencumbered by electronica, check this out. You probably won't find better this year.