On “King of Anything,” her new single out today, she ups the melodic peppiness that propelled “Love Song” into her breakthrough hit. Take a jaunty piano tune, throw in some hand claps, just enough quirkiness to make the tune stand out but not alienate, and a strong vocal performance with attitude and you have all the makings of a sunny, catchy adult contemporary hit. Though she sounds sweet, she’s telling her boy to get lost. “Who died and made you king of anything?,” she asks. Clearly, not her.
“King of Anything” is the first single from “Kaleidoscope Heart,” her sophomore album for Epic, which will come out in 2010. The pop jury is out on Bareilles: “Love Song” was a huge hit in 2007, in part because of its placement in a Rhapsody commercial, but none of the subsequent singles from “Little Voice” received significant pop airplay. That should change with “King of Anything.”
Bareilles, like Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor, drives down a pop road, but travels down a completely different lane than the Britneys, Lady GaGas and Christinas of this world. Bareilles and buds draw more from the Tori Amos and Sarah Mclachlan school of totally accessible, but not-in-your-face pop. In fact, Bareilles and McLachlan are starting to sound more and more alike, especially when McLachlan decides to amble down happy street, like she does on her new single, “Loving You Is Easy."
Their music isn’t flashy, but if given the chance, it will grow on you and worm its way into your brain. Plus, they don’t have to take their clothes off or party until they puke in someone’s closet to get you to pay attention.
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