Half a year ago Sarah Alainn released her second, self-titled album. I liked it. I still listen to many of the songs, with ”Beyond the Sky”, ”Dream As One” and ”Always With You” in permanent rotation. Today the extended version of the album was released, and happily enough the new songs can be purchased separately on Itunes in a ”premium selection”.
The main attraction is obviously ”Let It Go”. Sarah’s version of Idina Menzel’s fantastic Frozen song is good and shows off her range, but it’s a comparison that she just can’t win. It’s not a question of skill, it’s just so perfectly suited to Idina’s rougher, older voice. A slight disappointment overall. So is the dance remix of ”Dream As One” with the same general vocals as the original but with ridiculous beats, removing all of the amazing Mitsuda melody.
More impressive are two classics: ”You Raise Me Up” and ”You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”. The former is, apparently, only thirteen years but already covered by tons of artists. Sarah’s effort keeps the Celtic touch (maybe because of Mitsuda’s influence?) and is a very pleasant rendition. And I’m assuming she plays the violin parts. As a comparison, ”You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” is a playful, happy version of Stevie Wonders classic with an added choir.
Two songs less known to a Western public, I’m assuming, are ”Shine!” and ”Haven”. Those are two ballads, in Japanese and English respectively, which are both pretty good. I especially like ”Haven”, which is pleasant and piano heavy, if a little short.
Judging from Sarah Alainn’s newsfeed, her star is rising pretty rapidly, with some quite notable appearances. For that reason, it’s not surprising that she chose to re-release her previous album with more songs to reach new fans. Overall, none of these songs reach the heights of the original album, but they’re worth listening to – with the sad exception of ”Dream As One”.