Album Commentary: Sarah Dashew’s ‘Where I Belong’

With her authentic sound and straight from the heart lyrics, singer/song writer, Sarah Dashew, is a rare gem among the many carbon copies found in the music industry. Her music is a sterling change from the typical electrically produced beats and topics of sex, money and drugs compared to Dashew’s ability to move her listeners creating a warm feeling inside.

Dashew’s recently released sophomore album, “Where I Belong,” draws attention to her diverse musical influences, raging from Stevie Wonder to the Beatles, blending the sounds of pop, folk, soul and country into a work of brilliance. A mellow record that can be used to unwind after a long frustrating day imitating the calmness of the ocean waves. Enabling you to ease through the rest of the day with a breeze, she does not disappoint.

The album consists of 10 tracks, mostly composed of piano melodies and the occasional horns, an absolute must for Dashew to include. Scanning the themes of love/relationships and self-realization through times of struggle and strength making her music easily relatable. Dashew’s eminent raspy vocals place her into categories along side Fiona Apple and Carole King, breathing life to her poetically romantic lyrics of honesty. It is a pleasant treat to discover a new artist with an old sound mixing the spice of the past with a pinch of the present.

“Where I Belong”: For which the album is named after, is an upbeat ballad of the fight to someone’s heart. It’s a catchy tune of piano chords, horns and simple lyrics, you will find yourself singing long after the song is over. Seeing why it was chosen as the first single off the album, it is definitely a favorite.

“Dear John”: A letter formatted song puts an end to a long relationship with a fellow Dashew playfully refers to as Johnny. Accompanied by piano, she discusses the man’s unfair and controlling habits that she will not stand for anymore. This is by far the most candid track on the album exposing Dashew’s vulnerability making it the most relatable track.

“Traveling Moon”: A recollection of her childhood, sailing the world with her parents and older sister for a number of years, has a slightly different sound than the other tracks. She recalls calling various islands home, exotic beverages and being lost at sea. The line she repeats after each verse, “Traveling Moon” sums up the beauty of the experience. This song sets a scene and frees your imagination; Great for relaxing.

“Take Me In”: A slow-paced piano melody, of seeking guidance and love. Dashew seems to want to be nurtured and accepted for who she is. Another catchy song, that is most enjoyable.

“Everywhere You Go”: Is an upbeat “la la la song” with a horns solo towards the end that will have you tapping your foot to the rhythm. Featuring vocals from her niece and nephew, it’s a raw song about her personality and qualities.

“Call Me Your Girl”: Pain and desperation clearly shine through in her voice as she pleads to be someone’s girl at high vocal pitches. The repetition of the chorus is tiresome.

“Big Love”: Another piano composition, about building a home with a significant other resulting in a break up. Her amazing sorrowful vocals of having to establish a home alone will definitely touch you.

“Almost Here”: Paints a dark and eerie picture with soft seductive background music and smokey vocals. The harshness in Dashew’s voice for this song sets a mood of mystery making the cut among the top songs.

“Anywhere”: A straight smooth piano ballad, declaring how much she loves the person by being willing to go and do anything for him. A little too slow, the song seems to drag on.

“Hey Hey”: Focusing on a different topic, the track has a spiritual aura celebrating experiences and life as the song mentions “Hey, Hey we’re all going to die someday. I’m alive today.” Out of all the songs, this has to be the one I dislike the most, it doesn’t flow well with the others. At the risk of labeling this track under a gospel heading, Dashew slips into a preachy monologue in the middle of the song.

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