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Concert Review: Sarah Jaffe Brings Intelligence Pop At Rockwood Music Hall


Confession Time! I am a HUGE Sarah Jaffe fan. I have followed her career for awhile, and consider “LUV” one of the saddest, simplest songs to encompass that love sucks. Thus, she already had me at “Hello!” at her Rockwood Music Hall show. Celebrating her latest, pop-rock album, Bad Baby, Jaffe’s personality enamored with  its “too cool for school” vibe but humble enough to learn from life. She elaborates that the “indie” portion of any genre stems from intellect. 

Jaffe oozes a relaxed intelligence, which explains why most of her lyrics are vibrantly insightful while, at the same time, absorbable. When someone discusses the basic, human condition of people’s ability to love, dream, and hate themselves, they can also open themselves up to incoherency. The most ambiguous thing about humanity is its very definition: “humanity”. Songs like, “Shit Show”, “Synthetic Love”, and “Doctor’s Orders” observes Jaffe’s, and everyone’s, penchant to love things that do not always love them back. From music to men, Jaffe understands the excitement and exhaustion that comes with investing in relationships and ambitions that go nowhere. Hence, for every songs, from “Help Yourself” and “Not Dead”, she closed her eyes as if she needed to the problem she was singing to the crowd. Each song was a truth to Jaffe, who cannot write or sing unless a genuine note and notice is within the track. Her affirmation and purpose to make music that represents her strengths and flaws moved both the crowd and herself into literal sways. Jaffe in voice and presence is an embodiment that our weakness can be treated as casually as our strengths. So often, we, as human beings, make a show of our flaws, to which Jaffe’s songs like, “Bad Baby” and “This/ That” are the steps, thoughts, and situations we undergo in processing that we as persons, like love, can suck. Yet, like love, we can be great, and Jaffe’s voice is greatness.

I love Sarah Jaffe’s vocals. Her notes are like marshmallows burning over the fire; they are pure and sweet, but melt at the smokiness of her emotions. Jaffe does not mind muddling a chord or a key to show that she is not always as “clear” headed or feeling as she wants to be. Hence, a “Bad Baby” can be a badass, but it also can be emblem of someone who has been through bad, as well. In the intimate lounge of Rockwood, she stood center and cracked jokes about her life and the horror show that was 2016, Yet, her sharp wit was just another hedge-way to her new album, and how it brilliantly shows a woman with an edge can both pierce and defend like a knife. For More Information On Sarah Jaffe Click Here.