The perrenial liability of pop music is the tendancy of over-produced, singles'-charts-minded arrangements to betray lyrical meaning, as the value of words is sacrificed on the alter of commercial viability.  Such a depraved environment craves seriousness, originality and a disavowal of the all-too-great temptation to jettison thought, form and artistry for air-play.

In many ways, Sarah Blasko's What The Sea Wants, The Sea Will Have is a strong beacon admist the stormy, churning seas of the burned-over homogeneity of pop music.  Hailing from Austraila, Blasko offers a mature and sobering collection of songs in her second album.  The beauty of What The Sea Wants finds its terminus in its utter simplicity in exceptional diversity.  Although the arrangements extend from complete orchestral sections on songs like "[explain]" to the innovative usage of steel drums on "Planet New Year," they are incorporated seamlessly into the thoughtful melancholy of Blasko's artistry without pretension and without ever feeling as if the production is trying too hard.  Deep and brooding, what this produces, musically, is the perfect backdrop for Blasko's penetrating songwriting which is matched only by her hauntingly beautiful and intoxicatingly melodic arrangements. Here, joy, pain, love, loss and hope are fused with a realism that embraces, rather than denying the gravity of these feelings.  In this way, Blasko's music is so much more than just another collection of songs; rather, it is a treatise on life, a measured, yet welcoming invitation to make space–through the vehicle of music–to thoughtfully and quietly explore the vistas of human experience and existence.

With this said, Blasko's What the Sea Wants is certainly not for everybody.  At many places the songs are severely melancholic and dolorous, lacking the happy resolution that pop music has so encultured us to expect.  Moreover, those looking for little more than a background soundtrack will be severely disappointed, for the enjoyment and value of Blasko's work can only be truly appreciated with delibertaion and serious reflection.  However, if the listerner approaches this for what it is–a peice of art to be embraced with sobriety and critical thoughtfulness–one will find an immensly rich, deep and satisfying work.