Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Steph Barrak "Words to Break Your Heart" Album Review

Steph Barrak is a Boston-based singer-songwriter after my own heart. She just released a new record on Valentine’s Day called Words To Break Your Heart…again, a songwriter after my own heart, through the conduit of breaking hearts. Steph is also a very smart musician and surrounds herself with friends who happen to also be excellent musicians and seems to collaborate often with them. The music itself is also smart, a smart take on pop music (whether its rock, indie, light rock pop…I’m not sure how to pin it down, but it’s damn catchy).

In its whole, the work is pretty upbeat in its nature and structure. I sense a lot of sing along capacity in her tunes, driving in your car, turning the dial up and singing out loud (to be caught by the person in the car next to you…and still you keep singing anyway). Despite its cheerful sounding dynamic composition, it’s definitely a record that contains some of the more bleak components of love, but I have no qualms with that. I think some of the best lyrics and poetry come from a broken heart, so you go on with your sad self Ms. Barrak
While I find myself tapping my foot along to pretty much every track on the album, “Robot” is a pretty cool track that caught my ear immediately. The way that Steph sings on this track almost mimics a robot with a staccato approach to a lot of the phrasing . It’s an interesting take on something I’ve often felt and pondered. Are we really just cogs in the machine, running blindly through this thing we call life? Deep meaning in an indie-pop song, I can jive with that.
The record as a collective work is very commercially friendly. I think she could (and will) do quite well on the radio, tv, movies, all media outlets, etc. On the other hand, she is sticking true to herself, writing about personal experiences and not conforming to the “pop” norm and just rhyming words for the sake of rhyming words. I think you will be seeing and hearing a lot more from this gal in the future…so keep an eye out and an ear open for Steph Barrak.
Check out Steph’s bandcamp to listen to “Words to Break Your Heart”

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