Wednesday, February 14, 2007

When You Live Life Alone (2002) – Sarah Shannon

(The Cupid Chronicles: Complexions of Love – The Unlikely Resignation To Table For One Reservations)

The sparse piano plinks, melodramatic strings and guileless vocals which adorn “When You Live Life Alone” brought criticism upon Sarah Shannon for exhibiting Barbra Streisand tendencies. Damn, that’s harsh. No, no. Instead, let’s entertain the notion that a woman of Sarah’s obvious charms could somehow find herself alone with no willing suitors. Once we suspend disbelief, we can indulge her tale of patiently waiting for a whirlwind romance that ends with an untimely parting and consequent somberness in solitude. Sure, the song plays like a musical adaptation of a Lifetime channel movie—I’m seeing Kelly Preston and Tim Daly, or if you want to go a little younger, maybe Chyler Leigh and Chad Michael Murray—but, so what? It’s a showcase for Shannon’s exceptional soprano, technically perfect and rich with feeling. She finds her notes and sustains them to fill the spaciousness of the uncluttered arrangement, instead of trying to abuse the opportunity with recklessly ostentatious vocal runs.

It was daring of Shannon to record a song pregnant with such pathos, having come from indie noise pop darlings Velocity Girl. And, while she may have alienated those who became detractors, others appreciate the risk she took in her willingness to expose a more sensitive Sarah in pursuit of new musical directions that stir the empathies of the tragic romantic within.

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
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