Third Star 2021
Hailing from Hudson Valley, Garth Hudson protégé ventures out to Woodstock to bring her reveries down to earth.
Sarah Perrotta is an artist whose tunes would appear on everyone’s radar had the world wised up to her mysterious ways, “Blue To Gold” being one of those rare records where an unhurried flow of melodies cannot conceal raging feelings. Without relying on stunning looks and not aiming for vocal pirouettes, this performer effortlessly, seamlessly streams her voice from ethereal to tangible – often within a single song that will gradually reveal remorse and promise – and infuses the atmosphere with spellbinding femininity. Not for nothing she mentions Scheherazade in the album’s gorgeously tremulous title track, for on their meta level the “1001 Nights” tales are a love story and a smart ruse to escape a sinister alternative, which must nicely summarize the platter’s drift, and its many colors too.
At first glance, it may seem to be gelling into a set of elegies, yet Sarah’s array of ivories – both acoustic and electric, including cosmic Moog and Mellotron – create a move of ever-shifting moods that stellar guest instrumentalist contribute to, albeit these nuances only enhance her, and producer Jerry Marotta’s vision, Perrotta’s poetry steering this ship towards ultimate, clever sensuality. On her fourth full-length album, the lady has finally shed the shadows of Mss. Bush and Nicks she used to follow, so comparisons are best avoided here as, from the opening chords of “The Other Side” on, the artiste’s elegant piano keys transport the listener beyond initial cooing to lung-busting clarity and transform the serene air into a vibrant soundscape where ticking of percussion and tidal wave of bass unveil a portal to a different continuum, one of orchestral scope and oratorical beauty.
With four strings courtesy of GANG OF FOUR’s Sara Lee punctuating the vaudevillian, slider-caressed “Echo Of Joy” and of KING CRIMSON’s Tony Levin anchoring the rarefied uplift behind “The Wilderness” to expand the spiritual vista and eschewing histrionics in favor of celestial strand, the chanteuse fathoms the pop depths of her sophisticated verses on the former, and signaling the urgency of her desires once Marotta’s drums march across the violins on the latter. So when the twang and groove of “Firestorm” take over, it’s impossible to not get hypnotized by the piece’s twirl, despite the absence of apparent choruses, while remaining aware of what’s happening around, which is why the simple ripples of “Heartbeat” emerge in the most endearing way, Sarah’s pipes delivering crystalline delight, before going ghostly on the beat-driven, slow yet funky, “Spectrum Of Color” that should shroud in affection even the lest romantic souls.
People like that will find the deceptively barely-there “Don’t You Stop” – silken, if stricken with riffs and infectious refrain of “oh-oh-oh-oh” – not only enchanting but also encouraging; and this, perhaps, is the reason for “Circles” to form a gloomier finale – a perfect nocturne which hides hope in its hymnal ascend. Had she been a song herself, Sarah Perrotta would best embody “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”: nigh on divine, the sonic seductress’ “Blue To Gold” deserves to become a prized possession in many an abode.