Prior to the release of Kaleidoscope Heart, Sara Bareilles sparked the listening interest of many with “King of Anything”, the single that, once in your head, is hard to shake. Not surprisingly, every track seems to follow a similar suit. Fans of Little Voice will find this sophomoric album to be vocally intriguing and bursting with vulnerable perspectives of Bareilles’ ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’.
“King of Anything” provides a solid introduction into Bareilles’ desire to pave her own path in the music industry. In a recent NPR interview, Bareilles lists this “passive-aggressive” single as the album’s forefront. The lyrics aren’t suppressed; Bareilles’ freedom as an artist shines in her bold stance to don her own crown.
In the same passive-aggressive yet amiable spirit, “Machine Gun” also begins with upbeat, chipper piano chords. As the song escalates, the listener is met with a creative, upwards chord transition paired with a strong bass line. Anyone who has encountered an uncensored critic can relate; in response to such naysayers, Bareilles belts, “I’m well versed in how I might be cursed; I don’t need it articulated.”
Along the way, Kaleidoscope Hearts’ audience is treated to several tracks that shift to Bareilles’ honest, melodic side. Similar to the heartfelt vulnerability seen in Little Voice’s “One Sweet Love”, we find Bareilles’ emotions and willingness to trust in “The Light”. Its unhurried, contemplative beginning sets the stage for an intentional, beautiful chorus; by far, it is my favorite track on the album. In addition, “Breathe Again” combines the piano and strings to create a sincere, hopeful feel; adjacent to the final track “Bluebird”, the listener is left in a tranquil and thought-provoking mood.
The esteem for Little Voice is truly only the beginning for Sara Bareilles. Kaleidoscope Heart offers a variety of tracks ranging from poppy, pleasant melodies to earnest reflections. Bareilles’ songwriting, vocal, and musical abilities are, indeed, “Uncharted” and an exciting journey for her listeners.
“Sara Bareilles: Looking Through A ‘Kaleidoscope Heart'”, NPR.