It seems that at the tipping point of her success Sara does not agree with abandoning all that she built in order to get that final push to achieve her success. Bottle It Up, sounds like a song pulled straight from the Tori Amos or Fiona Apple catalog (of which she is compared too), and I feel life the composition is intentional. The lyrics are also laced with a heavy dose of passive aggressive content that’s aimed to poke fun at her label. I get the sense that Sara knows exactly who she is and makes no apologies for sticking to her principles. Her journey from backyard nobody to household name was a long road paved with hard work, hours of touring and many sleepless nights.
Just three songs into her sophomore effort, Bottle It Up is the second song on Little Voice with lyrics that detail how her label is trying to shape her into something she’s not comfortable with. Bottle It Up is about the tough music business and, more specifically, the struggles of being an artist with a recording contract. The verses are structured from the perspective of the record label executive talking to her about what she needs to do to her sound, style and music in order to make it big. She fights back in the chorus to say that she “Does it for love.” That takes balls.
The irony here is that she wrote this before she had her record deal. I think it’s safe to say she’s wise beyond her years.
Sara states: “Before I had a record deal, I wrote that song about what it would be like to have a record deal, and the struggles of how do you become an artist who feels like they haven’t quote/unquote `sold out,’ and how do you stay true to your art and figure out how to make a living from it.”
There are two different versions of this song. The original album version starts immediately with Sara’s vocals whereas the single release (Which reached #15 on the US Billboard Adult Pop Songs) features a piano intro. I would guess it was by the request of the label, because a presell by a DJ would be tough to accomplish with a cold start and no musical lead-in. Top 40 Radio DJ’s need to talk over something to ruin the first six or seven seconds of a song out of the mic break, right?
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