Sarah Jaffe – The Body Wins

I’ve been a fan of Sarah Jaffe‘s music since the release of her first EP in 2008 so I was naturally highly anticipating the release of her latest project “The Body Wins“. However, when the album dropped in late April I was disappointed in its drastic deviation from her earlier melodic folk genre. I honestly can’t say whether or not I got through the entire album before succumbing to my dismay and turning Andrew Belle‘s The Ladder back on to fill the void.

I realize now that the reason I shied away from this album in the first place was because it simply wasn’t what I was expecting. But as a music-lover-turned-occasional-critic I’ve found that I cannot have the fundamental expectation that every musician push himself/herself to try new things and constantly strive for creativity only to get upset when the new material isn’t the same as before… this is the epitome of a musical double standard. All of that to say that once I decided to grow up and appreciate a talented musician trying something new stylistically I found that I do indeed love this album.

From the amazing string score on the opening track Paul it sets the stage for an album that is nothing like Miss Jaffe has released thus far. My favorite track from the album is very likely “Mannequin Woman” with its unique vibe that I’m tempted to label “vintage revisited”. But I also find myself playing Foggy Field, Sucker For Your Marketing, and When You Rest on repeat on a regular basis. I would compare this album to Sucre’s debut album from earlier this year because of the romantic use of horns and strings, but “The Body Wins” uses far more synth tones to contrast the softness of some of the other instrumentation.

All in all, just because Sarah Jaffe has moved on from being the folksy “Denton Darling” with a killer voice that I originally fell in love with I did myself a disservice by holding too tight to my pre-release expectations. I would recommend this album for fans of Sucre, The Sounds, and The Cardigans.


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Categories: Music Review

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