Album Reviews

Rachael Sage

Choreographic

Artist:     Rachael Sage

Album:     Choreographic

Label:     MPress

Release Date:     05/20/2016

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First a disclaimer… To compare Rachel Sage to other great women artists of our age is by no means intended as a chauvinist statement. Her dozen or so previous offerings and more than twenty years of plying her craft — not to mention her successful stint as an entrepreneur at the helm of her own record label and the stages she’s shared with Sarah McLachlan, Judy Collins, Marc Cohn, The Animals and Ani DiFranco — have given her bonafide star credentials all her own. Yet it’s not inaccurate to say she’s a superb singer/songwriter in the tradition of Carole King, and every bit as animated and expressive as Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. (Simply check out her tender cover of King’s “So Far Away,” included here as a bonus track if any further proof is needed.) Therefore, if those comparisons suggest a limited pedigree, erase that impression entirely.

Choreographic is all the redemption needed. It’s an ideal example of pure pop perfection illustrated repeatedly in songs such as “7 Angels,” “Home,” “Loreena” and “Try Try Try” in particular, but actually illuminated in every song here. Yes, comparisons to Amos and Apple do occasionally come to the fore — “Clear Today” is one of the more obvious examples — but it’s never so evident as to detract from her own charms.

From the opening flourish of “Heaven (Is a Grocery Clerk)” to the album’s final fade, Choreographic is as close to a modern musical masterpiece as any artist of any gender has managed of late. Her name rings true; she’s a Sage indeed.

– Lee Zimmerman

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