October 2011

Arts & Letters

Popular music masterpiece

By Robert Forster

Sarah Blasko - ‘As Day Follows Night’, 2009

Bookended by two wispy Disney-esque ballads, As Day Follows Night has as its body, and certainly its heart, ten beautiful songs. Their melodic strength is the major surprise, given that Sarah Blasko, who penned all songs on the record, worked with a co-writer on her previous two albums. Lyrically she was always strong, if obscure and consciously poetic. Here all pretence is dropped, as a sign of artistic maturity and in the face of having to detail a broken romance – a subject matter she takes way beyond the clichés of a ‘break-up album’. Her songs are magnificently supported by the woody, percussive, fairytale production of Stockholm’s Bjorn Yttling, and she sings magnificently. The choice of Yttling is proof that great artists often make inspired decisions when it comes to collaborators. What is remarkable, re-visiting the album two years on, is the clipped intensity that Blasko brings to her chronicle of a failed relationship; a romance that, given all its human pleasures and problems, in the end must bow (as the singer comes to see) to the laws of nature, the cosmic order, where day always follows the ending of night.

—Robert Forster

Robert Forster

Robert Forster is a singer-songwriter and co-founder of The Go-Betweens. His collection of music criticism, The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll, was published in 2009.

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