As Day Follows Night marks Sarah Blasko's third full-length studio album, and arguably her best effort till date. With a little help from her friends, Peter Bjorn & John's Bjorn Yttling - she has emerged from a Stockholm studio with an effort that builds spectacularly upon an already acclaimed career.

  

Blasko is to be commended here for her invention and her drive to, quite simply, show more: As Day Follows Night is an exploration - guarded in some respects, wholly honest in others - and proves an endearing, intriguing outcome. The production differs strongly to Blasko's previous efforts, showcasing a fragile, yet textured compositions this time providing the basis to Blasko's knack for that subtle yet strong pop sensibility. As Day Follows Night is cautious not to be intrusive, its pained sentiments and brief but notable bouts of optimism breaks gently across the record in sweeping strings, brushed snares and other understated percussives.

  

Conversely, Blasko herself is as candid a writer as we have seen, All I Want painting the ghostly dawn of a wild-west backdrop, a setting for the songstress' damning honesty: "I don't want another lover, so don't keep holding out your hands". Meanwhile, the shuffling Bird On A Wire sees Blasko cut a compelling, sultry figure, and the brooding tension of Is My Baby Yours? only perpetuates her excellent form. The eerie finale of Night And Day seals the deal, edging the record onward to it's conclusion.

  

The foremost attraction is Blasko's unquestionable presence, her accomplished, soothing vocals delivered coolly from track to track forging an utterly engaging attraction. An ARIA award-winning talent, it's easy to see why: Blasko's appeal is immediate, her lilt drifting alongside the lush, often minimalist musicianship beautifully. She flourishes here more than ever, growing from strength to disarming strength.

  

The limited 2 CD release of the record sees the addition of fifteen tracks recorded live at The Forum in Melbourne, capturing effectively that enchanting brand of charm that Blasko so effortlessly exudes. Strangely, a cover of Xanadu, of all things has made the cut here, in favour of her beloved career. The live component snubs her debut The Overture And The Underscore entirely, and tucks a mere few tracks from What The Sea Wants , The Sea Will Have onto the end of disc. It showcases without doubt a faithful recreation of her latest work, but fans might be disappointed at the poor, overall snapshot of how much Blasko has to offer.

  

Overall, the live CD is a fairly flimsy bonus to an album that can easily stand alone in its brilliance. Much of As Day Follows Night signifies a key step forward for Blasko, a sonic evolution that has enabled a delicate, yet mature approach that has been executed with stunning results. Could one possibly preference this, her latest record, over brilliance passed? Whichever the case, the debate is certainly red hot, as Blasko continues to pit herself amidst Australia's premier contemporary female artists.

  

Highly recommended!

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