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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 122 - 09/07/06

Charlotte Martin
Stromata
Dinosaur Fight Records

Charlotte Martin recorded an album and an EP for RCA, but since then she has parted company with them and gone independent. Since her last EP Veins she has formed her own record label. Her second full-length album is a stunning work. Martin's still getting compared to other piano playing singers, but she established an identity of her own and this album is more electronic than other of her records have been. On Your Shore's sometimes stifling strings are gone and a leaner, more experimental sound has resulted.

"Cut the Cord" has vaguely tribal-sounding rhythms being used alongside the piano and vocal. The dense throb of "Little Universe" only seems to highlight the singer's ambitious new outlook. The song's closer to progressive rock than anything else Martin has ever done. "Four Walls" was featured on Veins and it's still a great song. The piano and vocal ballad "Inch" is soft and sweet but most other songs have a strong edge. "Just Before Dawn" sees Martin use her voice in an operatic fashion to an eerie backdrop, and it's a stunning piece if a tad short. Stromata is clearly Martin's best album and a quantum leap compared to her debut. She's a force to be reckoned with from hereon.

The album is released on september 12th.

Copyright © 2006 Anna Maria Stjärnell e-mail address

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