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July 23, 2024

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Sarah Rabdau
Benevolent Apollo (Certified Next Generation Music)

By: Scott D. Lewis

Just who the hell does Sarah Rabdau think she is and why is she trying to drive me crazy? Doesn't she know that artists aren't supposed to make music that we "critics" can't sum up in an handy, tired little catch phrases? Somebody please tell her the rules already! Actually, she's a heady breath of fresh air. Rabdau's music rests at the intersection of pretty pop, flashy folk and smart soul and sexy jazz, and like the kids used to say, it's all good. Damn good. Though crafted largely on a G3, Benevolent Apollo sounds pleasingly warm and alive, full of chill beats, electronic symphonics, organic guitars, select string and wind instruments, as well as Rabdau's sedate and highly evocative voice. Maybe this is what Sarah McLachlan could of sounded like if she had gone sexy instead of sappy. "Light Up" is an aching and lovely listen that isn't very far at all from Beth Orton's gorgeous territory while the following "Runaway" sounds a bit like a buzzed Ani DiFranco caught between the dancefloor and the oxygen bar. I don't know what that really means either, but hey, it's not my fault that Rabdau insists on making music that can't be stuffed into neat little boxes. It is my fortune however, and it should be yours, too.
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