Domino Records · March 8, 2019
SASAMI is the self-titled debut album of LA-based artist Sasami Ashworth. Having made a name for herself as part of the rock band Cherry Glazerr, she’s ready to take the spotlight herself.
Throughout the album, Sasami shows off her talent as an all-around songwriter. Every song on the album has a very full sound. The instruments are layered over each other to create a constant background noise with different instruments fading in and out of the spotlight. Her lyrics are filled with melancholy stories about past relationships and existential crises. Listening to this album is like reading her diary. Some of the songs are more fun and punchier, like “Not the Time” and “Jealousy,” while others are slow and brooding, like “Callous.” “Morning Comes” uses the music to recreate the feel of waking up, with a groggy, mumbly start building to a bright and full finish.
In the end, the whole album kind of blends together. There are highlights, like “Free,” a beautiful ballad featuring Devendra Banhart, and my favorite, “Not the Time.” Although this song is about losing out on love, it’s still hopeful and has a bright sound. It’s the one song that made me want to dance along and engaged me. But it doesn’t feel like this album was made to engage an audience. It feels like it was made for Sasami, maybe to vent, maybe just to share her art. It has a very cohesive style and is consistently very well produced. It’s just hard to get excited over. While the lyrics are full of personal emotion, the music isn’t always moving. Most of the time it’s the opposite, dulling any emotional context of the song with driving beats and buzzing guitars.
If you take each song on this album by itself, they’re pretty great. However, when you put them all together for a listen, it starts to fall flat. This album would be great for background music when you’re relaxing, or reading, or when you’re brooding about your exes. Pick it apart for your playlists and mixtapes too. There’s a lot to enjoy with this release, but maybe not all at once.