Review of Rachel Sage album 'Choreographic'

Rachel Sage released Choreographic this Spring. With a mixture of classical, pop and folk-inspirations, the result is an accessible lyrical record.


Rachel Sage released her twelfth full-length album this spring, entitled Choreographic. The widely toured independent artist is a singer/songwriter who additionally plays piano and guitar. Choreographic features a combination of classical and pop-infused instrumentation, while Sage’s vocal quality contains hints of American folk. An accessible record, the artist succeeded in evoking a lyrical dance sensation she speaks about on her website.


Choreographic begins with a track entitled “Heaven (Is A Grocery Clerk).” Strong and up-tempo, borderline orchestral musicality carries this tune. Sage’s vocals create an interesting counterpoint – remaining comparatively even amidst excited instrumentation. Though a reasonable introduction to Rachel Sage, the emotionality within the lyrics become slightly lost in translation. A more connected vocal performance may have made for a stronger opening.


As Choreographic continues, skilled string work stands out as a beautiful through-line. On track three, “Try Try Try,” Sage seems to finally make contact. A smoky vocal tonality mixes with her folk-pop presentation, yielding positive results. Next, “Home (Where I Am Now)” adds in an increased sense of honest emotionality previously lacking. Listeners are left feeling as though the first two tracks were a warm-up.


Having hit her stride, Rachel Sage continues Choreographic with “I Don’t Believe It.” The accompanying video makes tribute to the singer’s dance background.



Traversing Tempo and Mood


Choreographic introduces consistently changing variation with tracks such as “French Doors,” “Clear Today” and “ I’ve Been Waiting.” All three decrease in tempo and mood with complimentary instrumentation. Spotlighted horns and mature subjects shift the feel from day to moonlight. As though someone is slowly turning a dial, Choreographic steadily works its way through fading tempos and moods.


A standout track on Choreographic is “Five Alarms.” Rachel Sage showcases lovely vocal quality and palpable emotion in this slower more sensual track. “7 Angels” comes on the heels of “Five Alarms,” further exploring a moodier realm. Predominantly sung in English, the artist also incorporates Hebrew into the track. A heartfelt song featuring Peter Himmelman, this track skillfully weaves a tapestry of vocals, strings and guitar. After “7 Angels” it is a bit disconcerting to keep going, as it feels very much like an ending. However, the final track “It Would Be Enough” closes out the album, with two bonus tracks additionally available.


Rachel Sage and her band, The Sequins, are a talented group of artists. With an interesting combination of classical, folk and pop influences in sound, her success among the lyrical dance community seems well founded. Fans will be pleased with this most recent album and look forward to seeing Rachel Sage on her ongoing US/UK tour.

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