Album Review: Sara Bareilles: Songs from the Waitress

Broadway get ready to accommodate yet another successful musical, “Waitress” the first Broadway musical to have an all-female main creative team is set to hit the stage for its previews on March 25. A very important part of that all female creative team is none other than five time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles who wrote both the lyrics and the music for the new musical. Recently the U.S. was graced with a special preview of the Waitress in the form of “What’s Inside: Songs from the Waitress,” a new album that features Bareilles performing some of the music from the musical.

The album starts with “What’s Inside,” a song where Bareilles sings the main character’s life. Jenna is a waitress whose main job is to create new pies at her local diner. The names of the pies reflect how she feels about her life. In the song she says that people always want to know “what’s inside.” Bareilles’ ongoing metaphor throughout the song about how she’s making a mess of her life and how everyone wants to know what’s going on is wonderful. The first song is short, simple, and repetitive, but it showcases what Jenna, the waitress, is thinking.

Almost right away the listener gets a kind of upbeat feeling with the start of the second song, “Opening Up.” This song is literally about what its title suggests, opening up the diner. Bareilles sings about pouring coffee and keeping polite conversation with costumers. Lyrically, it’s a fun song that makes on want to get up and dance along.

Next up is “Door Number Three,” a song about how Jenna got stuck in a loveless marriage. She sings about how she is at a crossroad; she must decide whether to leave her husband or stay. “Now I’m heavy or unsteady, or maybe I’m ready.” She hopes that “door number three” will be the answer to her prayers since she’s already walked through “door number two.” She sings about how he “lifts” her but never “carries.” Overall I think this is a great song that sounds beautiful musically and I would expect nothing less from Bareilles.

In “When He Sees Me” she sings of how she doesn’t like “being tossed around by fate.” She sings of how she doesn’t like to date and what scares her the most is what if when “he” sees her, he doesn’t like what he sees. “When he sees me, I want him too.” He will see what she wants him to see. She worries that if he does “see” her, he’ll like what he’ll see and she’ll be “broken open.” She wants someone to talk to who like the way she is. “Someone that when he sees me, wants to again.” I just really like how Bareilles has arranged her lines and how she words the points she wants to get across.

Other notable songs on the album are “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me,” “Everything Changes,” which is about the birth of Jenna’s originally unwanted baby whose father is the husband whom she does not love anymore. Before the album’s release, Bareilles released the song “She Used to Be Mine,” a heartfelt song where “Jenna” sings about who she used to be and how she wishes she could be that girl again. She sings about how she was messy and kind and was never really the center of attention. Jenna sings to the listener that “she used to be mine,” treating her past self as if she is a totally different person, and to Jenna, she is.

Overall I think that the album itself is wonderful and I hope to see the actual musical sometime after it makes its Broadway debut. Until then, I recommend this album to anyone who feel in love with the 2007 movie, “Waitress,” which this musical is based off of. Or to anyone who loves Sara Bareilles.