Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙄’𝙢 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙋𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩 - 𝙎𝙖𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙖 𝘽𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙤
Charles aims for perfection…
Any anti-royalists may turn the page now - I don’t want a whole hunk o’ junk in the comments.
After a long and wonderful weekend celebrating the Platinum Jubilee, it occurred to me that our dear Queen might be the most perfect celebrity in the world. Ever. She might even be considered the most perfect person in general. She has literally done no wrong. She has only achieved goodness. And I couldn't conceive of anyone thinking any differently. This is more surprising and impressive than you may think for various reasons. We all make mistakes. Yes, even I have been known to make the odd error. I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I am not famous. I am not in the public eye. Sure, YOU know me. But let’s just say I can do my weekly shopping in peace, without being mobbed by scores of adoring fans. Or scores of swearing haters. The thing is, when one is in the public eye, one’s every move is watched and judged. For some reason, people care. People take note. People criticise. People also praise. The Queen is just about as famous as one can be. Even a camel in a country from the Commonwealth gracefully dips its head in acknowledgement and with respect. So despite the intense scrutiny from the press and the public, she has managed not only to survive unscathed, but to triumph with flying colours (red, white and blue, of course). The Queen has not only done no wrong, but could also be the most popular person in the world. What a lovely feeling that must be! Such pride, both ways. This is made more impressive by her years (as opposed to Prince Charles made more impressive by his ears). The longer one is around, the harder it is to keep up the standard. Usually one will misjudge a situation and fall flat on one’s face at one time or another. But not this lady. If she WISHES to fall flat on her face, she will do so - or get someone else to do it for her - a perk of the job. Either way though, she is reluctant to do so, and remains on her feet at all times, handbag at the ready, after all these years. What’s her secret? Well we now know, it’s marmalade sandwiches. Who knew…? Here’s to our Queenie. Her perfection is her purity.
Perfection is however a difficult term though. Is it a term? It is maybe a notion, but I’ll call it a term. No, I’ll call it a notion. Because this is exactly what it is. It is something many of us strive for (should be all, but, ya know), but really it is an impossibility. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. Perfection doesn’t actually exist. So why bother?? The striving is everything, not the perfection itself. We should all be trying to achieve the closest we can to perfection. It makes us better people. But one must be happy, comfortable and content in the process. If your attempt is crushing your soul, it might be best to settle for second place. We are all different. We all have different personalities and different talents. Popularity is a different thing altogether though, and I feel it is something that some may have got a little confused with perfection. Both notions are striven for these days, but they are very different. One can be popular, yet far from perfect. This didn’t used to be the case. One can also be high up on the perfection charts, but entirely unknown. Our Queen has managed however to simultaneously achieve both. Does this ever happen elsewhere? I believe it does, if on a smaller scale…
When we turn our gaze towards music, we see the rise in popularity. But do we honestly see perfection? The tendency seems to edge closer to “pop” over “perf”. Should we maybe replace pop music with perf music? I think not. We have some pop stars these days who are hailed as the almighty gods of modern music, but their actual output might possibly be considered as rather less than perfect. A decent song here, a mediocre song there, a good song here, a catastrophically appalling song there. So why hail these stars so highly? Why carry them on rigid arms? Probably because despite their mediocrity, it might be the best we’ve got at the moment. Which is a sad thought. Fortunately it is not the truth. These stars are simply the most popular. Not the best. There is PLENTY of stunning music out there, by extremely talented artists. The sadness comes with the fact that they are unknown to most.
I bring your attention to someone who is younger than The Queen (who isn’t??). A VERY young lady, in fact. A girl I have reviewed twice before. This in itself is almost unheard of, but this is kind of my point. You maybe wouldn’t expect much at all from a 14 year old, in terms of talent and success. You certainly wouldn’t expect a string of singles - 13, to be precise - in less than 3 years…! But that’s just quantity. Who CARES? Well, here’s the thing. Anything close to perfection demands time. Time to learn. Time to hone one’s skills and discover one’s talents. Time to realise what works and what does not. Well apparently this isn’t the case all. Not always, anyway. Sabrina Barreto has broken the book of rules (probably doesn’t like reading) and simply continues to release hit after hit after hit. This is my absolute genuine feeling. This has nothing to do with her age, and I never take age into consideration when “judging” an artist’s work. For that would be meaningless discrimination. I am not saying she is “good for her age”. I am talking about the quality of Sabrina’s music. So far, the Torontonian is on the road to perfection. In fact, the way things are going, she is fast approaching the near-impossible combination of perfection and popularity.
Sabrina’s previous single was I think possibly her best: I Won’t Be Broken. But I didn’t review it, for the simple reason that I didn’t think it would be fair to the other artists and wanted to give them some of the spotlight too - bearing in mind I had already twice reviewed her. Speaking of The Queen, one might call it a sense of duty. But enough’s enough. I can’t ignore this talent. I am never biased, I simply open my ears and listen. Ms. Barreto ticks all the boxes every time. But this time, she REALLY got tangled up in my heartstrings, with her somewhat ironically titled brand new single, I’m Not Perfect. A simple piano ballad. Simple on the surface… The subtlety in the chords’ voicings (how a certain chord is played in terms of the order of notes) makes this track sumptuous. Sabrina’s mature and strangely experienced voice floats atop the ivories with honesty and a wide open heart. Her lyrics suggest that she wants to “fit in” and “be liked” - this common feeling of confidence vs popularity where I feel the rare relief of being my age and not any younger. Let’s face it, the young have a pretty terrible time these days, what with social media spying from all angles. Judged from every perspective. Not nice. Not nice at all. Sabrina sings, “they just want to point out my flaws” - cruel to be kind…? This is surely simply cruel to be cruel. As the song unwinds, we see that all she wants is to be allowed to be herself, and to be happy. What humble wishes. Tear-inducing, really. Like a Dickensian street urchin asking for a pair of shoes and a slice of bread. Being young should be all about happiness and joy. Contentment and fun. THEN things get heavy later on, as “real life” starts to kick in. But one’s childhood will usually shape (or break) one’s entire life. Thankfully, our dear Sabrina has none of this to deal with in the New Artist Spotlight. Because we roll with honest love, and she is frankly one of our favourites - and rightly so!
Musically speaking though, the “darling” of this song - I use that word in music to mean gorgeous gem - is four notes, sung with a soft request. It is the final refrain after “…if you just let me be me”. She sings “Be me, Truly”. This simple yet heartbreaking moment is followed by the word “Happy”. It is gorgeous, and it gets me every time. That twinge in the heart was not too dissimilar to what I felt when I saw The Queen up on that balcony. Weepy eyes all round. Sabrina, please keep doing what you do, as so far you’ve been pretty flawless.
She’s not perfect…? Well if she ain’t, I don’t know what is.
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