Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beauty Lives - Sarah Slean: A Review

Beauty Lives is Sarah Slean's latest release. The album is a compilation of old and rare songs that had been played live but never recorded in studio. The album features ten songs that were voted on by Sarah's fans. Before the recording process, with the co-operation of LittleSlean, live recordings of several songs were made available and the voting process begun. Between the votes and personal decisions by Sarah, the track listing is as follows...

  1. Count Me Out
  2. Everything By the Gallon
  3. My Song
  4. Ogoni Star
  5. Sadie
  6. Closer
  7. Hooligans
  8. The Right Words
  9. I Do
  10. Glenn Gould Song
The album, overall, has a very cabaret and melancholy feel. The songs mostly seem to centre on a feeling of longing and regret. The album felt personal on first listen to me and it's definitely an album to sit down with a glass of wine and lament with. 

Some of the stand out tracks for me upon first listening was Count Me Out, The Right Words and Glenn Gould Song. After listening more and more to the album, Ogoni Star, Closer, and My Song also put themselves forward as well. 

Sarah's writing style takes such an insanely personal situation and puts it out as something very open and relatable piece. Count Me Out talks about being in a one-sided relationship. Where one person is so madly in love and the other just wants out. The song sounds as though it could be a whiny, self-satisfying type of song. But it comes across as a beautifully relatable piece. 

Sadie is an anthem to Sarah's future daughter. It tells the girl to be brave and strong, unlike her mother. To not let the issues she or the world goes through to weigh down on her like they have on herself. It seems to be a madly personal song but the song is so innocent and sweet it's really more of a self-empowering anthem. A reminder to be strong and believe in yourself. 

Closer is a song that relates to me on a madly personal level. It describes an unhealthy relationship that you just can't seem to get out of. The fear in taking the step away to be healthy and safe. 

Overall, I think this is a great introduction to Sarah Slean and is a really empowering album despite the sad tone that runs throughout it. It's available online through iTunes, Amazon and other digital retailers and in physical form from her official site: 


  1. Very well put. I had a never pictured Count Me Out as a one sided relationship, more as opting out of the suburban cookie cutter life.

    I think everyone tends to find a few songs that hit them on a personal level. Think that some of Sarah's older fans of Blue Parade/Universe will really attach themselves to this record too.


  2. @Cameron I definitely agree that fans of Sarah's earlier work will fall for this record! It really is a bit of a callback to the more piano-focused days.