Kaleidoscope Heart - Sara Bareilles

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Despite lushly detailed arrangements, Bareilles never pushes this distinctly commercial gift too hard, letting the songs flow easily and this gentleness is almost as appealing as those classically constructed melodies, tunes so softly insistent they could conceivably appear on adult contemporary charts anytime from 1971 to 2010.
  2. Feb 7, 2011
    This is one mainstream marshmallow with an acidic coating worth a lick.
  3. Sara Bareilles returns with more bouncy and intricate piano melodies on her sophomore album
  4. On Kaleidoscope Heart, sometimes, as in the airless Breathe Again, all that earnest yearning can make you feel like you've been sentenced to life at Lilith Fair.
  5. The singer-songwriter's background in university show choirs serves her well here, as she finds strength in complex vocal arrangements and the sorts of dramatic set-ups that have reminded us, through Fox's popular television show, that the very act of raising our voices can be a hugely liberating act.
  6. Although Kaliedoscope Heart was probably intended to prove Bareilles' staying power, it only confirms suspicions that in some years, she'll be as remembered as Michelle Branch, or Tracy Bonham, still making music, but without any of the mass appeal they once enjoyed.
  7. Bareilles veers between fellow pianists Alicia Keys and Regina Spektor, avoiding either's extremes.
  8. When Ms. Bareilles goes for more straightforward tugs on the heartstrings, she often sounds like Sarah McLachlan's gifted apprentice, complete with Ms. McLachlan's trademark of going breathy at the top of a phrase.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Sep 15, 2010
    There are very few albums that I can listen to from beginning to end and enjoy every song. Little Voice was one such album, so I had highThere are very few albums that I can listen to from beginning to end and enjoy every song. Little Voice was one such album, so I had high hopes for Kaleidoscope Heart. Sara did not disappoint! The album begins with a one minute acapella snippet that serves as a tribute to the album's namesake. It's haunting and beautiful and perfectly shows Sara's gift for intricate yet subtle harmony. There is a smooth transition into the next song, "Uncharted," which I'm calling right now to be her second hit single from this album. "Gonna Get Over You" has a 50's doo wop feel mixed with an upbeat, bouncey beat. "Hold My Heart" begins with a strong piano and blossoms into a powerful ballad fueled by very raw, honest lyrics. "King of Anything" is a throwback to "Love Song" in that it's driven by lyrics that give a big middle finger to drone music execs trying to force Sara into a typical pop mold. As with "Love Song" she succeeds in getting her point across to her label through lyrics that double as ones that can still be easily identified with by scored lovers all while maintaining a catchy hook and feel good music. Very impressive. "Basket Case" has a slight Alanis Morisette feel to it with a background harmonica, simple, straight forward singing, and self exposing lyrics. "Not Alone" has a bluesy, breezy vibe that makes it hard to sit still. Sara sings it with cool confidence, which is understated just enough to keep it from being cocky. The album ends with "Bluebird," a gorgeous, tearjerker that is filled with emotion and beautiful vocals. Overall, Sara once again produces an honest, moving album that seems to effortlessly put the other stereotypical poppy girls who get the majority of airplay in their proper place. Kudos! Full Review »
  2. Apr 12, 2012
    Kaleidoscope Heart is the third studio album by Sara Bareilles. This album mainly shows how Sara has grown as an artist. Four singles haveKaleidoscope Heart is the third studio album by Sara Bareilles. This album mainly shows how Sara has grown as an artist. Four singles have been released from the album, "King of Anything", "Uncharted", "Gonna Get Over You" and "Let the Rain". The album starts with a beautiful intro by the short 1:02 minute song "Kaleidoscope Heart", which features an a cappella performance by Bareilles. "Uncharted" begins with a small piano solo (and some small string accompaniments) then Sara jumps in and takes us for a sensational ride. The next track "Gonna Get Over You" is feel-good, doo-wop song where Bareilles sings about how she is going to get over a (probably) failed relationship. "Hold My Heart" a song that sounds as if it should come out of a movie with a love story, with strong vocals by Bareilles with beautiful piano to back her up. The album's lead single "King Of Anything" showcases Sara's feelings over someone who doesn't listen to her and wastes her time, to which later she gets back at him by saying "Who cares if you disagree, you are not me, who made you king of anything?". This is a great song if you want to get over a past relationship, in which you want to get back at your partner. "Say Your Sorry" displays the story of a circus artist, who Bareilles wants to apologize to her, but he will not use those words. Bareilles also says that she wants she wants leave to also "It's not the curtain closing causing us to call it a day, I want to walk away to but I want you to say your sorry". Her next track "The Light" is a simplistic track filled with lots of emotion behind it. "Basket Case" is free-from ballad, where Bareilles proclaims that she is a Basket case, which could mean that she is criticizing herself as if she was saying that she was a "silly person". "Let the Rain" in the beginning of the song Sara starts with doubtful lyrics saying "I wish I were pretty, I wish I were brave", later her personality starts to grow as does her voice, the melodies and the harmonies. This is a very R&B/Soul-like tune which evokes many feelings to the listener. Shocking this may be the title of this track does not sound like it should compliment the tune, however it does this song is "Machine Gun". In this track we hear Bareilles powerful voice take place, a great performance. "Not Alone" has a blues/R&B beat, with Sara using her voice to form multiple harmonies, which completes the tune, arguably the best song on the album. Next in line is "Breathe Again" another ballad with a somewhat dark and gloomy sound to it, lyrically a very powerful tune, Bareilles sings about someone she loves and that "He's the air I would kill to breathe" and that she wishes to be able to breathe again. Finally "Bluebird", a nice way to close the album, Sara compares herself to a bluebird and wishes to fly away like a bird "This pair of wings worn and rusted, From too many years by my side, They can carry me, swear to be, Sturdy and strong but see, Turning them on still means goodbye". But, in my opinion she also sings about how she has taken care of a bluebird and she wishes to follow him in his travels. It's not all over some special edition of the album include the song "Carolina". "Carolina" is a country and rock song where we see a different and more sleek side of Bareilles, can also be counted as one of the best songs on the album. Overall Kaleidoscope Heart is wonderful and refreshing album full of great tracks and mystical harmonies which showcase Sara's evolution as an artist. This is a must-buy album which should receive more critical acclaim. Sara's vocals are strong, tasteful and passionate. Kaleidoscope Heart deserves 10/10! Full Review »
  3. Dec 11, 2010
    I love Sara. This album is good. I love the sound to her songs on this album. Very good song writing. very good folk-pop album. One of myI love Sara. This album is good. I love the sound to her songs on this album. Very good song writing. very good folk-pop album. One of my favorite album of the year. Her last album was also good. If you love this album you will like her other album. I think ever body should listen to her. Full Review »