King of Anything

Album: Kaleidoscope Heart (2010)
Charted: 32
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Songfacts®:

  • This angst-ridden message about love is the lead single from American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles' third studio album, Kaleidoscope Heart. The song was written and recorded by Bareilles in Los Angeles and produced by Neal Avron (New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy).
  • In this song Bareilles vents her frustration about unsolicited love advice. "'King of Anything' is sort of a 'f--k you' song," joked Bareilles to PopEater. "I've had more unsolicited advice on my life than I care to mention, and this was how I dealt with it. It felt empowering to turn that frustration into music, especially a song that doesn't even sound angry. That's sort of what 'Love Song' was as well. Apparently, I don't get over things very quickly."
  • Bareilles told Billboard magazine: "It was the last song I wrote before we went into the studio, and I was at the point where I started sharing the music with my inner circle and started getting feedback. I remember having a very vivid realization of, 'Oh, I forgot that this was a part of it. Everybody gets to tell you what they think about what you do.' I could tell I was getting defensive. That song was a little bit of a pep-talk song-and that's exactly what 'Love Song' was."

Comments: 1

  • The King Of This Right Here from Right HereThis song was not about getting love advice, and it's absolutely not an angst-ridden message about love. In fact, this may be the farthest thing from a "message about love" in Sara Bareilles' entire catalog. As stated in the quote from Billboard above, it was about her irritation with having to listen to all manner of people at the record company (possibly imagined) weighing in with their two cents about what she was writing for her second Epic album. The lyrics clearly place her in a conference room, dejectedly looking out the window as what she interpreted as negative criticism rolls.

    Vital context for this song was that Sara had reached a point of complete exhaustion from touring etc after her first album Little Voice went big, and felt that her creative energy had gone dry. She genuinely feared that she would never write another good song. She had lunch with Eric Rosse, the producer of her first Epic album, and he told her "You can't polish a turd" -- which she took as inspiration to take it easy and let the music come to her rather than letting anxiety drive her to overwork her ideas.

    In a series of videos about the making of Kaleidoscope Heart, Sara says that she went into the studio with just four songs: Uncharted, Gonna Get Over You, Basket Case, and King of Anything. That means that she was listening to nitpicking about three stunning musical works, which resulted in the creation of the fourth.

    Personally, I consider Kaleidoscope Heart to be her most significant album, in that her first hit album was largely a re-production of songs she had been singing for years -- she wrote Gravity and City when she was 18 or 19. With Kaleidoscope Heart Sara beat a serious sophomore slump and created an absolutely brilliant work, proving to the world and to herself that she was The Real Thing, and not just a one-hit wonder.
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