Rachael Sage

Delancey Street

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Over eight previous recordings, Rachael Sage has established a distinct, all-subsuming persona since her very first album, appropriately titled Morbid Romantic. By now she can shed the comparisons to Ani DiFranco (who she toured with extensively,) as Sage has created her own sense of style (she did study acting and ballet), and a signature sound via her vibrato-laden, ironically dramatic, and at times haunting voice. Delancey Street tells tales of love and hope, abject passion, the vagaries of temptation whether alluring or gauche, and life in New York City that is easy to get all too wrapped up in. Sage hits the notes and the tone of city that never sleeps during songs like "Back to Earth," where she offers a cautionary tale about extending yourself while preparing to be reeled in to reality. Also a good pianist, Sage displays this talent during the title track in tandem with violin, thus upping the sentimental quotient, and speaks in hushed, secretive tones of love during "There Is Passion," "Big Star" has hit potential, as Sage relates to the trappings of celebrity in an upbeat way. Old enough to know better but still young at heart enough to follow brazen paths, Sage interprets Daryl Hall's "Rich Girl" and the song Irene Cara rode to stardom, "Fame," as if she's truly lived these songs. Using modern jazz heavyweights like bassists Todd Sickafoose or Will Lee, keyboardist and accordion player Rob Curto, and trumpeter Russ Johnson alongside drummer Quinn and cellist Dave Eggar, Rachael Sage has molded and shaped a sound beyond a mere current-day singer/songwriter, and into a true soothsayer and storyteller that actually offers a glimpse into the future. Her crystal ball on this recording is powered up, and invites one and all to gaze in to discover what can be.

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