Love On The Rocks

Love on the Rocks may be my favorite song on Careful Confessions. This is the song on the album where she and her band mates show off just how talented they are. Guitarist, Javier Dunn gets co-songwriting credits and in fact, it’s the only song that’s not written by Sara exclusively. The piano, drums and bass line are so tight I find it very hard not to gesture along with a little air piano during those triplets. (yes, it’s happened… a lot). I could totally see Jack White wailing this riff on his Harmony Rocket Guitar during his White Stripes years. Maybe he’ll cover it. #thatwouldbeepic

It must be a blast for Sara to play this song on the piano. Then she adds her counter-melody vocals and it all works. Love on the Rocks is classic blues, yet toe-tapping. It’s lyrics are, cry your eyes out powerful, and yet your body is overtaken by a slow bobblehead kind of groove. I’m convinced the juxtaposition of the groove and lyrics is purposeful.

One again, Sara has written a narrative through the lyrics about a failed love. Three heartbreak songs into her debut album and it’s hard not to feel that behind her smile, bright eyes and wit, Sara has experienced more than her share of pain for her to draw inspiration. Maybe that’s what makes Sara so wonderful. Her songs are presented in a very personal manner. She wears her heart on her sleeve, makes no apologies, and through it all she’s grounded and lives a seemingly happy optimistic life despite the rejection and heartbreak. Or, she could have us all fooled with a very vivid imagination.

Whatever the case, it’s intoxicating.

Love on the Rocks is a song about two lovers that have an unhealthy relationship, yet they keep coming back for more. They get together, quarrel, break-up, and then like a true addiction they start all over again hoping for new results. I like the unintentional cell phone beeps at 2:17 from the keyboard player.  Those beeps always makes me think that Sara’s character is getting ready to re-engage while she clearly communicates the relationship’s dysfunction in the lyrics.  The song’s bridge ties the song up in a bow with lyrics that speak to drinking your sorrows away. If she starts with this verse we might be tricked in thinking the song is about a drinking problem. But make no mistake, Sara’s not trying to be overly clever or misleading here. She’s using drinking as a metaphor. Love on The Rocks is a song about a toxic relationship. And it’s heartbreakingly beautiful.

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6 comments
  1. Love on the rocks is not about relationship between people. It is about one’s relationship with alcohol. Listen again to the lyrics. Love=alcohol. This is my all time favorite Sara B song btw. Listen to the version on the Between the lines Filmore DVD. Javi’s guitar riff at the end, this is by far the best rendition of Love on the Rocks.

    1. musicislove

      Stuart, Thanks for the comment. Totally can see that perspective, but I think she’s using it as a metaphor to symbolize both the pain one feels from a failed relationship, and how sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the escape by drowning your sorrows away from alcohol in a glass. Agreed, the version on the Fillmore DVD is really solid too.

      1. Thanks. I guess that’s the thing w/ music and lyrics is that they are ambiguous and mean different things to different people. I figured since she co-wrote this w Javi that it was more of a fun song. and the “you plus me is bad news” and “still I’ve got nothing to show” really demonstrate the relationship w/ alcohol and “the beautiful sound of love coming down” talks about the sound of alcohol being poured over ice. It can go both ways, but this song and between the lines are my 2 all time favorite songs. I hope she ends up reuniting w/ Javi, Josh and Daniel sometime down the road. I knew they were talented, but seeing her play without them really showed me how much the contributed to the music and to her being the best live performer ever.

        1. musicislove

          You have lots of great insight on her work. I look forward to your perspective on future posts!

  2. I loved how she changed the lyrics at the Live at the Variety Playhouse DVD. 🙂

    1. musicislove

      Agreed. This song has some critic comparison to the Elton John song “Bennie and the Jets” so I enjoy that she has woven that into her performance.

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