Rachael Sage’s Myopia Just Might Be Her Best

Posted by Greg on Jun 19, 2018 in Music |

For her fourteenth album Myopia, NYC-based singer-songwriter Rachael Sage deviated from her signature piano and wrote most of the album on guitar. That small change might have actually been the best decision Sage has made in quite some time. From start to finish, Myopia is a crisply produced, affecting and rewarding listen that lingers long after the final second. Whether its the organ-drenched opener “Alive” or the doe-eyed, coffeehouse-vibe on “Spark” the album opens with a veneer of both hope and confidence.

The disc surges forward with the string-laden “No One is to Blame” before taking a small nosedive on the by-the-book and derivative “Olivia,” a song written for Law and Order: SVU character Olivia Benson. That lull towards redundancy continues on the lukewarm title track. Thankfully, Sage rescues the album from placidity on the vibey “Sympathy Seed” a serpentine and sensual cut that might arguably be one of Sage’s strongest to date. After another dip with “Daylight” she returns to form on the orchestral and humorous “Maybe She’ll Have Cats,” which much like “Sympathy Seed” should be flooding playlists the world over. The album’s final half-dozen tracks pick up the pieces from the dips on “Olivia,” “Myopia” and “Daylight” and cement this album as easily one of her absolute best.

The hallucinatory and circular “Haunted By Objects” has an immediacy and potency that crackles from the very first seconds to the final swirling seconds. Backed by lush strings, it is a giant step forward for Sage and another absolutely titanic effort. The winsome and inward “The Darkness” fines Sage ruminating over a bed of strings in a way that seems tailor made for a WFUV or WXPN studio appearance. She gets worldly and cultural on “Umru Mayne,” a spiky, guitar-driven effort that features Yiddish lyrics. Sage returns to the ruminative introspection from “The Darkness” on the poetic and gauzy “Snowed In,” before offering up two of the album’s very best efforts. The gorgeous “Tomorrow” is a paean to self-acceptance, defiance and fortitude that absolutely should be flooding the hallways of Washington, D.C. while bonus track “Sister Song 2018″ finds the piano returning front and center and giving much needed life to a track of hers that dates back to 1998 and sophomore release Smashing the Serene.

Being that Sage is entering her third decade making music, the strength of Myopia should not come as a surprise. But in a musical landscape where far too many artists often yield to complacency, laziness or studio gimmicks, Sage does exactly the opposite. With the exception of a few dips in the middle, Myopia is as refreshing, rewarding and ripe as anything she has released to date. Come to think of it, maybe she should write songs on guitar more often.

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