Sacket, Sasha - Alabaster Flesh

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Golden Sphinx Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:21:00

Upon first listen, Sasha Sacket's Alabaster Flesh seems to be a poorly mixed release, with some instruments or elements being the focus, whereas the vocals are set in the background. However, it isn't until you listen attentively that this is all by design, that there is a certain effect that Sacket is trying to achieve. This may sound like someone's excuse, but when you do listen closely, those elements that seemed submerged come into focus and you realize that that the first impression is far from accurate. It is an arty mix, the kind of music that may not find a mainstream audience because it doesn't resort to easy rhythms and shallow musical themes. On the contrary, it is the kind of music that one often hears in coffee houses. Music that pricks up your ears and engages your interest, something that you know is different from what you were listening to on the radio on the way in, or that you will likely listen to on the radio on the way home. Well, maybe not you specifically, since I'm guessing that, like me, like many of us here, you listen to that which doesn't get endlessly played in every which way that is possible for the more "popular" forms of music.

Sacket's music is all about contrasts, about putting this particular instrument in contrast to that particular instrument and then laying something else again over it or beside it, or intertwined with it. As vocalist Sacket has a rich voice, that at times made me think of the vocalist for World Party (a short lived band that had, perhaps, one hit). In fact, at times, I'd say Sacket is arty in the same way that Porcupine Tree are arty, or have been. The music works on a electronic level -- digital drums and loops, etc.; works on an acoustic level, as there is a "stripped down" feel to the music - even on the pieces that rock, such as "Sacrifice" (made me think a bit of Live). Sacket's piano playing is mostly warm and often lyrical. "Color" makes me think of some of the artier things Marillion were doing on Brave and on releases after. There is a sort of dreaminess to this piece with the vocals, a repetitve electronic beat, and piano. For a change of pace, the closing track "The Trickster" is very nearly country.

Lyrically, it is a deeply personal album. His understated vocal delivery engenders immediacy and intimacy. Reading the interview on his site, you learn the artist's motivation behind the tracks that make up his debut release - it is a journey to find one's self and accepting what one finds there.

Folks who appreciate the singer-songwriter of "old" - James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, etc. - as well as the newer names, including Steve Unruh, Kevin Gilbert, Nick D'Virgilio, Neal Morse, and many others that are no stranger to this site, will appreciate Sacket. And yet, unlike any of those (except maybe Gilbert), the addition of electronica puts Sacket a step outside of that niche, which isn't a bad thing.

Primordial (5:12) / Apollo Girlie (5:56) / Orion (5:15) / Sacrifice (4:06) / Battleship (3:50) / The African Of 1963 (5:23) / Who Knows Who (3:22) / So Blond (5:32) / Color (4:58) Military Theme (2:20) / The Trickster (3:27)

Sasha Sacket - piano, programming
David Miraglia - programming (5)
M. B. Gordy - drums
Bart Somalis - bass
Jason Fredrick - guitar (2, 5, 6, 9)
Jason Gambill - guitar (4, 7, 11)
Melissa Orquiza - string quartet (writing/arrangement) (2, 7, 8)

Alabaster Flesh (2001)
Shadowed (2004)
Lovers And Leaders (2007)
Live At The Zone (2008)
Hermitage (2009)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: May 4th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 551
Language: english


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