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The Baroness

Sarah Slean Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.31 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Sarah Slean’s recipe for her musical concoctions is unwaveringly consistent: take a handful of Cabaret-affected melodies, add a sprinkle of musical theatre, then steep that all together in a stockpot of fragile but powerful emotions. With some of the singer’s earlier releases, Slean seemed to be trying terribly hard to sound deep and wise; thankfully, that quality has softened somewhat over time. As a result, the music on her fifth CD The Baroness flows more effortlessly and beautifully than any of her previous works. The disc’s first single “Get Home” is by far the most impressive track on the disc, an incredibly arresting breakup song written from the point of the ‘other woman’ as she tells her lover to head back home to his wife. It is the first in a handful of tracks that showcase her growth as a songwriter, further separating her from the artists that she has frequently been compared to in the past, ranging from Kate Bush to Fiona Apple. Slean admittedly does revisit the Cabaret style occasionally (“Hopeful Hearts”, “Euphoria”) but it is the sparse musical moments of her and her piano where the singer shines the brightest. Noteworthy highlights include “Goodnight Trouble” -- which has a Pink Floyd-esqueness to it as the song rises from its din to a resounding orchestral rock peak -- and “Please Be Good To Me” a Leonard-Cohen-meets-Reba-McEntire number that is dense with ache and beauty. --Denise Sheppard

Product Description

2008 release from the Juno and Gemini-nominated Canadian singer/songwriter, published poet, accomplished painter and renaissance woman, her first album of new material in over three years. This is Slean's fourth studio album since she debuted on the music scene in 1997. Since her debut, she's also managed to release three EPs and a live album, each of them earning her more fans and more critical accolades. 12 tracks. Warner.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her best work yet! March 19 2008
By Deanne
Format:Audio CD
Everything in this album is beautiful! The words, instrumental, her voice... it's all quite captivating. The packaging is also put together nicely. I think it's her best work yet! My favorite songs so far are: "Get Home", "Looking For Someone", and "Sound of Water/Change Your Mind." The strings in "Sound of Water..." are hypnotic!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome album... March 28 2008
Format:Audio CD
... after a couple of years of waiting! Yes, "Orphan Music" was great, but the new material we fans desperately longed for, here it is at last! Now, Slean does not rush things, and we love her all the more for that: every song is a delicacy, every melody a soothing, every word a shard from the poet's heart.

It is pure Sarah Slean: what you loved in the previous albums you shall find here as well, although one might feel that "The Baroness" is indeed endowed with more maturity than her past efforts. Could it be love's omnipresence (or absence of it...) that made her turn her lyrical subjects and musical ears toward a more somber, solemn, simple source of inspiration?

Anyway, whatever else I might add about "The Baroness", buy it and see and hear for yourself...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good... Jan. 23 2009
By Joy
Format:Audio CD
This is a decent album, but compared to her other albums...it just seems a little more contrived, a little less honest. It feels to me like her other songs came more naturally and this album was more work. Still an enjoyable listen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Icy & Cool : Slean Steeped in the Classics June 3 2009
By Marc Cabir Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've often believed that Sarah Slean occupied a void that Tori Amos once left, ever since Amos went the way of 'Adult Contemporary' music. Those Tori trademarks - a lone female voice, a piano up front and center, and interesting lyrics - are all replicated by Slean, though to be honest her songwriting is far more direct and relatable than a lot of Amos' output. Those comparisons aside, Slean is also far and away the frontrunner when it comes to female singer-songwriters these days, and its a pity that this Canadian songstress hasn't crossed over to any part of the world. Her success is very local, despite a catalog of some truly groundbreaking albums.

Even within Slean's own fan community, opinion about this album is divided, only because its slower, more plodding, and far more introspective than any of her earlier works. While many reviewers have called the songs 'same-sounding', this is in fact untrue. The tracks here are definitely not upbeat or happy tunes, but their effectiveness is enhanced through their icy, solitudinal quality - something that is present throughout the entire record.

Highlights are many - especially the beautiful "Sound of Water" (a personal favorite) and the addictive "Willow". This is certainly one of those albums that grows in stature and importance every time you play it - the repeat value here is astounding, and the songwriting is impeccable - perhaps a little too simplistic at times, but nevertheless really lovely. Her earlier release, "Day One" was more 'dramatic', but this record finds Sarah in a regal and contemplative mood, and the results are stunning.

Music completists would like to note that Sarah Slean recorded an album right after this one entitled "The Baroness Redecorates" - it was a collection of B-Sides and extras from "The Baroness" sessions that she thought were important. For the record, that EP remains the best work Slean has ever recorded or released. The vibe of it resonates closely with the album title, and classic symphonies swirl amidst a sea of violins, strings, and Rachmaninoff-like melodies - its a 'classic' album in the truest sense of the word - only marginally related to pop music. I'd urge all listeners to track down that highly rare and sought-after EP - its running time however, is as long as this albums'. "The Baroness Redecorates" should have definitely been included with this album here, but it isn't.

Finally, Sarah Slean remains in a league of her own. If thoughtful, tuneful and gorgeous chamber-pop music with a classical edge is what you are looking for, this is it. She is intelligent beyond her years, and her music is low key and lush - this is exactly the sort of music that sophisticated indie-music lovers should pick up - its without a doubt essential listening.

Four and a Half Stars. Try to track down the out of print follow-up EP "The Baroness Redecorates" - its vital. I'm including the track listing for both CDs even though the latter is not available on Amazon (or anywhere else anymore, sadly).

Tracklisting for "The Baroness":

1. Hopeful Hearts
2. Get Home
3. Euphoria
4. Goodnight Trouble
5. Notes from the Underground
6. Sound of Water
7. No Place at All
8. Please Be Good to Me
9. Willow
10. So Many Miles
11. Shadowland
12. Looking for Someone

Tracklisting for "The Baroness Redecorates":

1. Parasol
2. Lonely Side of the Moon
3. Modern Man I & II
4. Compatriots
5. The Rose
6. Hear Me Out
7. The "Disarm" Suite
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow another great album March 28 2009
By eWorks! - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
excuse me for taking so long to find The Baroness. I definitely wasn't looking for this. I was at a movie theater where I saw her in an interview. The Baroness title stuck with me and I'm now glad it did. I got her music listened to it and I was blow away. I've read the reviews here and it seems I'm the newly recruited fan and I'm glad I found Sarah.
I would recommend this album to anyone, I don't think you have to wait to be told to take it home. You won't be disappointed.
The production on this album is simple, lean like its on diet but its filling and on point. The vocals ooooo wee! Basically Sarah will blow you away, there is no one song that you would throw away. This album leaves you wondering why it didn't come with bonus cuts on it. Since I have to pick a favorite(s) they are Get Home, Please Be Good To Me and Looking for Someone, seriously there is no songs to skip only repeats. You've never heard a voice like this Sarah, Adeles voice may beg comparison but Sarah style and something in her voice makes her completely different and should make stand out on her own out there. The Baroness makes me proud to be Canadian, now start touring please!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Dec 26 2008
By C. A. Mennie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album is absolutely breaktaking and finds Sarah at the peak of her powers. Not one throwaway on here, these richly textured songs evoke the best of pop, cabaret and theatre. Exquisite production and nuanced arrangements envelope her lush voice, which she uses to perfection. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah the Baroness Oct. 23 2013
By Peter Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sarah Slean is an innovative musician and composer, and this is more than evident in the divers songs that make up The Baroness. Her voice has really unique timbre that lends a melancholy gravity to her imaginative arrangements. She can certainly pen a melody and is not afraid to use her training to develop compositions that can best be described as mini soundtracks of the heart. There are so many singer songwriters that sound the same these days that it is totally refreshing to hear someone cut from a completely different cloth. The best Canadian songstress right now.
4.0 out of 5 stars another Great Songstress from the Amazon Collection June 7 2011
By Jean-pierre Fournier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sarah's a beautiful songstress with a touch of the mystical / theatrical in her sound. It draws me in and I keep wanting to hear more.
When I acquired this album, I actually thought I had purchased The Baroness Redecorated. It was a disappointment not to have the song "Parasol" in the mix, but I have already come to love the playlist of this album.
J-P.
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