February 13, 2003

Test Spin: Rachel Sage

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I have a personal affection for chicks that play the piano and write deeply felt songs about life and longing. So, of course, I kinda’ liked Rachel Sage’s album, Illusion’s Carnival. Heck, even the title is all deep and thoughtful. She has quite a nice little collection here of love songs and shout-outs to various incidents that seem to have affected her.

The lyrics have a nice random quality to them, as though a friend rather gifted with poetry were pouring out her heart to you. It’s all here: the unrequited love, the references to departed friends that are dearly missed, the lost love, some current events, ex-lovers trying to stay friends … did I mention the lovey dovey parts?

The music is fairly inventive and catchy. Rachel plays the piano, vox, and even the wurlitzer (I had to look that last one up) by herself, with other people playing guitar, doing loops, and producing all the stuff that goes into making CDs sound good. The music has sort of a dreamy feel to it, and with Rachel wailing in the background, some of the songs feel a bit like hallucinations.

Overall, the album is definitely a themed piece, but it comes across very well. It will probably be gobbled up by her rabid fans, whom she apparently has quite a few of, and might catch her some new fans as well. This is a CD that I might actually pay money for, and coming from a dorm room with high-speed ethernet, that’s saying something.

Archived article by Sue Karp