'The Body Wins'
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., July 6, 2012
Sarah JaffeThe Body Wins (Kirtland)
Denton songstress Sarah Jaffe settled comfortably into indie singer-songwriter mode with 2010 debut Suburban Nature, separated from the crowd by her trembling but powerful voice. Sophomore effort The Body Wins is a stylistic sea change for Jaffe, lavishly decorated with programming, horns, and strings. The digitized, bass-laden intro of "Glorified High" gives way to a piano-driven chorus, combining technology and raw instrumentation. Despite this sonic transition, the compositions still bare Jaffe the woman. Her internal and external scrutiny is thinly disguised, beginning on "Fangs," which criticizes ("She can be mean and unkind") while self-vilifying: "She's got fangs like mine." Through producer John Congleton's flourishes you can still imagine Jaffe strumming the songs on an acoustic guitar, each heartbreaking love song written for the same audience who embraced the subtle desperation of Suburban Nature.