The Blessed Unrest

Music review by
Stephanie Busto, Common Sense Media
The Blessed Unrest Music Poster Image
Bareilles provides inspiration in clean, thoughtful album.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Positive messages for those feeling lost or out of place, providing reassurance that no one is ever completely alone: "This is so you'll know the sound/Of someone who loves you from the ground/ Tonight you're not alone at all." Tracks also encourage the pursuit of one’s dreams and goals, finding the strength to effectively get over heartbreak, and rediscovering the bright side in the darkest of times.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sara Bareilles, known for her honest lyrics, presents listeners with a different, more personal side of herself. Not only are tracks emotionally and spiritually empowering, but Bareilles also uses this album as an avenue to convey the universality of heartbreak and pain -– an approach that convinces her listeners that they are not alone in their struggles.


Slightly graphic lyrics in "1000 Times," a song about unrequited love: "'Cause I would die to make you mine/Bleed me dry each and every time."


"Brave" was written for and inspired by Bareilles’ friend’s struggle to embrace his sexual orientation.


"Little Black Dress" talks about the strength and courage a simple item of clothing may provide when getting over heartbreak.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief reference to being metaphorically intoxicated off of happiness and contentment in "Manhattan": "You can have Manhattan... the one where we were laughing/And drunk on just being there."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Blessed Unrest is Sara Bareilles’ fourth studio album, and quite possibly one of her most personal and ambitious records yet. A follow-up to her 2010 Kaleidoscope Heart, this album debuts a slightly new approach to the creative process for Bareilles in the aftermath of a break-up and relocation to New York City. From adversity comes strength, and this is made clear as Bareilles spreads the album’s overall messages of empowerment, individuality, and the importance of being aware of one’s own voice. There's no iffy content but themes about relationships and break-ups make it best suited to older tweens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old March 18, 2014

the best

sara bareilles is my absoulute fav!!!!!!!! she is really tanented, and this is a great album. my fav song is i choose you.
Teen, 13 years old Written bybeautifulauras August 5, 2013

Mature album--Some kids may not understand, but really good altogether

Anxiously awaiting this album since 2011. Now that it's here, well, I love it, personally. But really, I think you have to know your kid. It's a matur... Continue reading

What's the story?

Sara Bareilles -- a \"new New York girl\" as she referred to herself -- made her move from the West Coast in the winter of 2012 in order to take on a fresh life perspective. The Blessed Unrest highlights the energy of life in the Big Apple, but also explores heavier subjects such as heartbreak and mortality. \"Brave,\" although upbeat and motivational, was written for and inspired by Bareilles’ friend’s struggle to embrace his sexual orientation. The soothing ballad \"Satellite Call\" provides reassurance for those feeling lost and out of place. What proved to be a transitional album for Bareilles also turned out to produce some very relatable and heartfelt tracks.

Is it any good?

Upon its release, The Blessed Unrest debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts, proving that this new somber sound did not diminish Bareilles’ lyrical genius and overall talent. In experimenting with a new creative approach, this album provides a variety of musical styles that presents the audience with a wonderfully surprising listening experience.

Longtime fans of Bareilles’ work may need some time to adjust to her different sound, but may eventually see this daring move as a beneficial step in her career. Though some songs can be considered outside the usual realm of her style, she has not completely strayed away from those upbeat, radio-friendly tunes that many of her listeners fell in love with. Highlights from The Blessed Unrest include "Manhattan," "Brave," and "Chasing the Sun."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Bareilles' decision to move across the country. How did the move to New York inspire her? How might life in the Big Apple differ from a Los Angeles lifestyle?

  • How would you describe Bareilles' sound? How does she stand out in the overcrowded pop music landscape?

Music details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate