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The Baroness

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Album Review

Sarah Slean's 2008 release, The Baroness, should come with a disclaimer that reads: "Caution, do not operate heavy machinery or drive an automobile while listening." A complimentary packet of Prozac might also be a nice touch. That's not to say the album is bad; it's just that the 12-track pop-cabaret collection tugs hard on nearly every single human emotional string that exists. Slean is the queen of melancholic melodies. The Canadian singer/songwriter crafts mini movie-like masterpieces that aren't recommended for the faint of heart or the clinically depressed (OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point). Besides being a fine singer and songwriter, Slean is also a poet, an artist, and an actress, which seems to add an extra dimension to her vocal performances. The singer, who co-produces all of her albums and writes and conducts all of the string parts, delves deep into the heart of life on such animated tracks as "Sound of Water," and "So Many Miles." She tackles ecstasy on "Euphoria," a swelling number that jangles and rattles with the intensity of a high magnitude earthquake. Mood music is as good a tag as any to sum up The Baroness (or maybe even music to sleep too).


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Sarah Slean first appeared on the Toronto live circuit in 1997; the release of her independent debut EP Universe followed soon afterward. Already an accomplished, classically trained pianist, the Pickering, Ontario, native pursued her studies in the music program at the University of Toronto while gradually carving out a name for herself as a charismatic, ebullient live performer. When a number of relatively high-profile opening stints helped Slean sell over 4,000 copies of Universe, the major labels...
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The Baroness, Sarah Slean
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