Sarah Blasko

The Overture & the Underscore

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Put together Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones and strip them of such deliciously straightforward lyrics as McLachlan's "Your love is better than ice cream," and what you get is bound to resemble Sarah Blasko on The Overture & the Underscore: an entrancing artist who sings exceptionally well but is bent on making you guess what brews within her heart rather than pouring it out to you. "Disconnected things, you exist within a kind of truth/And the consequence is a consummated trial of fire," she sings on "Always Worth It," a smart, moody slice of pure pop that's typical of the 11 songs gathered on this debut. Where most pop grabs hold instantaneously, though, Blasko's brand, punctuated by gentle synth, guitar, and piano melodies, takes its time sinking in. The result is a disc more like barrel-aged wine than fast-melting ice cream. But that's not to say some of the lyrics, like "Between love we make divide/Confusion translates what you can't explain," from "True Intentions," won't give you brain freeze.

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