Sarah Jaffe, “Don’t Disconnect”
For her third album, singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe has decided to push her songwriting envelope. Instead of acoustic thrumming, a smorgasbord of instrumentation has been assembled by Midlake’s McKenzie Smith. Don’t Disconnect is a solid album, but sometimes overlooks the music in its ambition. “Some People Will Tell You” rattles gloriously—a Memphis marching rhythm with Sarah’s vocals floating in sumptuous falsetto. “Slow Pour” is a woozy bar ballad, evoking the best of Joni Mitchell; it’s both vulnerable and in a state of violin-induced reverie. Not everything connects, though. “Fatalist” is a driving tune that runs out of gas—a thin snare and wailing slide guitar part fails to support the song—but “Ride It Out” is a rock-disco earworm of the highest caliber. Don’t Disconnect is a competent offering from a musician eager to develop; it just needs to take its own advice on occasion.