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Sara Bareilles

What's Inside: Songs From Waitress

Format: CD   Release Date: 11/06/2015
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    Track Title

    Time

  1. What's Inside 1:16
  2. Opening Up 3:19
  3. Door Number Three 2:55
  4. When He Sees Me 3:51
  5. Soft Place to Land 2:58
  6. Never Ever Getting Rid of Me 2:26
  7. I Didn't Plan It 3:25
  8. Bad Idea 3:26
  9. You Matter to Me 4:11
  10. She Used to Be Mine 4:10
  11. Everything Changes 3:39
  12. Lulu's Pie Song 1:12

Of all the pop singer/songwriters who surfaced in the 21st century, Sara Bareilles may be uniquely qualified to write the songs for a Broadway musical. Indebted to tradition without being beholden to it, Bareilles always favors songs so exquisitely sculpted that their craft is never noticed, only felt, so she's a natural fit for Diane Paulus' adaptation of Adrienne Shelly's 2007 indie comedy-drama Waitress. What's Inside: Songs from Waitress isn't a cast album, it's Bareilles' recording of 12 songs from the production, and the highest compliment that can be paid is that it simultaneously plays as drama and as a sequel to her Grammy-nominated 2013 album The Blessed Unrest. Bright and open, What's Inside does feel of a piece with her 2010 album Kaleidoscope Heart -- the presence of that album's producer Neal Avron, who sat out The Blessed Unrest, is apparent -- and that warm, colorful sheen is enough to make the album play as pop: simply judged on its surface, it provides tangible pleasures. The nifty trick Bareilles pulls off on What's Inside is how the songs also contain a double-edge, serving the drama of the story while also playing as pure pop. Sure, there are flourishes that are pure musical theater -- there's the opening fanfare of "What's Inside." "Never Ever Getting Rid of Me" is Gilbert Sullivan by way of Todd Rundgren and the show-stopping ballad "She Used to Be Mine" almost seems to conjure a lonely spotlight -- but never once do the songs on What's Inside feel in mere service to a plot. Taken on their own, they're lively, clever, and bold, and further evidence of Bareilles' versatility, elegance, and wit. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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