CD Reviews for Friday, October 22, 2004

I don’t even know what to say about this CD. Ok, yes I do. Anyone reading this, tell everyone you know to buy this CD. Don’t listen to it, just buy it.

Sub City Records funded this CD, and its three predecessors, in a successful attempt to raise charity money for The National Hopeline Network (which is a suicide prevention and crisis hotline). Over the past four years the Take Action tour and crew have raised over $150,000 for the hotline. This year they have chosen to donate their proceeds to a different hotline however, called The National Youthline Network (which offers a peer to peer hotline for young people).

But I’d just like to say, it’s a good thing they are donating money and not the CD to the hotline. Then you’d be confusing an already confused group of people because this CD has absolutely nothing to do with helping people. I thought it would have a theme you know? Sub City Records motto is “to create a better world; one voice and one action at a time”.

What you actually get with this CD is a bunch of no name little rock groups (with the exception of a few i.e.-Andrews WK and The Early November) who wanted to sell their own CDs. I bet they actually said “Hey guys, we should sooo do this. Maybe we’ll sell a CD and get money. Go us!” Again, maybe it’s me and I’m just not up to par on my no name little rock groups. Some groups on the CD include Melee, Taking Back Sunday, and New Mexican Disaster Squad. Sound familiar? And the song titles only get better. What better way to raise money for charity than by singing a song called “March of the Fire Ants” or “Famous Friends and Fashion Drunks”?

And it’s not like the music is good. I couldn’t even begin to understand the yelling and screaming by some of the groups on the first disc. It’s your traditional yelling accompanied by guitars.

I’m just really missing the connection between the subject matter of these songs and charity. Maybe the connection went on vacation or left the building with Elvis. Guys, gals, and people in general, please buy this CD and donate money to a good cause. Just try not to listen to it.

By: Nichole Rominski

Charlotte Martin is one of the newest piano-based singer-songwriters to hit the music scene. Her first full-length album, “On Your Shore,” is reminiscent of Tori Amos, who is Martin’s musical idol.

Her 2003 EP, “In Parentheses,” is what got her noticed and her latest effort is what proves she deserves the attention she is receiving from critics.

Her sound is fresh and catchy, with beautiful piano arrangements accompanied by an incredibly strong voice.

She is brutally honest in her songs and plays the piano with a passion that the listener can feel as soon as they push the play button. Martin is a classically trained opera singer and a powerful voice expresses her moody lyrics in a commanding way.

Charlotte Martin may be the next Tori Amos, but Martin has her own views to offer. Her songs deal with many diverse topics including, love, depression, and anorexia. The whole album is very personal and sounds like Martin is singing her poetry that she has decided to share with the world.

Even with her imposing vocals, the songs still have a warm and lush sound to them, especially in the track “Up All Night.”

The entire album is intense, even through the ballads. Marin breaks away from comparisons to the likes of Vanessa Carlton through the sheer strength of her voice and the substance of the record. Martin wrote all the tracks on her disc, excluding a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.”

This collection of songs was written in Martin’s L.A. apartment where she locked herself away for a year and just wrote to deal with her depression. These feelings are evident in songs like “Steel” where she sings, “I am steel. I don’t feel anything at all.”

The only thing that brings the disc down is the repetitive sound. The songs are different, dealing with diverse topics and varied piano arrangements. But all of them still have a similar sound. It’s hard to keep track of what songs have already been played. By the end of the album the listener is ready for something new.

By: Jessica Lang