Album Review: What Would You Believe by Patricia Ossowski

Album Name: What Would You Believe
Artist: Patricia Ossowski
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

After offering to review this CD I found out that Patricia Ossowski’s previous release, “My Best Mask On” was reviewed here by Anna Maria back in December of 2001. The only thing Anna Maria would change it to make it longer. That seems to be a common complaint on EPs. Interesting how the ones that deserve to be full length often are not! But that’s not the case here. This is a regular full -length record and it’s wonderful. It even has a bonus track!

I would describe the music as intricately layered piano pop. Some of the songs are a tad spooky and mysterious. I am reminded of Evanescence on “Broken Me”.

While some are pretty straight Intellipop.

She ends the CD, with a cute (and I don’t mean that disrespectfully) little song called “I Wish”. It’s got a very sweet old tymie feel. The lyrics are hilarious…if youv’e got a strange sense of humor. I obviously do.

Piano is her primary instrument and she plays very well.

I also like the way the songs are put together. The lyrics, to the melodies, arrangements and vocals…a first rate act.

Ossowski’s voice is very likeable and matches the music wonderfully no matter which style she’s creating from song to song.

The sound of the record in general is very polished and professional, very nice and sometimes hard to do for an indie artist.

This is a great release and I encourage you to give it a spin.

Posted on February 14, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. True
2. Lucky Me
3. Luminous
4. That Line
5. Save It
6. Please Don’t Go
7. Broken Me
8. Bleed You Dry
9. Fade
10. On A Sea
11. I Wish

[Patricia Ossowski Official Site]

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Album Review: Chaotic Resolve by Plumb

Album Name: Chaotic Resolve
Artist: Plumb
Year/Label: 2006 / Curb Records

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

I’ve heard the name Plumb bandied about for the last few years. But I’ve never gone to the trouble to look her/them up. So I was sort of excited to see this record show up. I’ve always been curious. I read the accompanying press release and saw that she is known as a Christian singer. This gave me pause, because most artists who call themselves “Christian” end up playing music I’m not fond of. Not so here. Whew!

Plumb’s actual name is Tiffany Arbuckle Lee. As far as I know, there is no relation to Amy Lee of Evanescence, even though the comparisons don’t stop there. They even look similar with their black hair and lovely light eyes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard/read the comparison when actually Amy Lee states that Plumb is an inspiration to her. Yes, folks, Plumb came first. That said, really, their styles are quite similar. I would say Plumb’s music is not quite as hard. I would not classify it as metal, but more hard, haunting rock. But at times it can also sound almost AAA. No matter what you call it, it’s beautiful.

Plumb can rock out with the best of them, but I tend to like this most when she’s just playing the piano and singing her gorgeous ballads. “Cut” is one of these. It is achingly beautiful. Actually reminds me of Sarah McLachlan when she hits the high lilting notes. She has truly got an amazing voice. I could listen to her all day.

Since I’ve never heard any other albums by Plumb, I can’t compare. I can just tell you that if you’ve been curious about her, it’s time to check out this record. Get your hands on this; you won’t want to put it down (so to speak).

Posted on February 14, 2006

Track Listing
1. Blush (Only You)
2. I Can’t Do This
3. Real Life Fairytale
4. Better
5. Manic
6. Cut
7. Bittersweet
8. Good Behaviour
9. Motion
10. I Have Nothing
11. Jekyll & Hyde
12. Sleep
13. Damaged (Bonus Track)

[Plumb Official Site]

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Album Review: Say Goodbye to Pretty by Camille Bloom

Album Name: Say Goodbye to Pretty
Artist: Camille Bloom
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

What strikes me most about Camille Bloom is very powerhouse voice. It’s very strong, yet has a soft, maybe even vulnerable quality. She’s able to go from an emotional pleading tone to an almost desperate shout. Very nice.

Next one realized what great songs these are. I found myself singing one of her songs (in my head, of course, not out loud) hours after listening. And In fact wasn’t sure who it was. I just sort of shrugged it off. Then it wasn’t until I put the CD on again the next day that I realized it was hers. That to me means that these songs are well written and catchy (in a good way). It was “Pretty” if you want to know. “Goodbye” is very emotional and makes great use of the crescendo. That’s always a good thing.

On “I Found Love” it almost sounds like she’s channeling early Ani DiFranco.

“Soon Your Past” might be my favorite tune here. At least it is today. I could change my mind because really these songs are all good.

Camille Bloom’s primary instrument is the guitar but there are a lot of instruments at work here. The instrumentation on this record is also very professional, and the production is very rich sounding. A solid release all around.

Posted on February 15, 2006

Track Listing
1. Pretty
2. Goodbye
3. Stay
4. I Won
5. 20/20
6. I Found Love
7. Haunting Me
8. Soon Your Past
9. Habit
10. I Love The Way
11. That Girl
12. This World

[Camille Bloom Official Site]

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Album Review: Outside Casa by Laguna!

Album Name: Outside Casa
Artist: Laguna!
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

In a word: Fun!

One thing is for sure, Laguna! sounds like they’re having a blast on this record and they’re bringing us along for the ride.

I’m a big fan of the old style light jazzy artists, your Sergio Mendez, Tijuana Brass, etc. Laguna is in a similar vein. It’s not exactly the same, but they have a great loungy, jazzy feel that reminds me of that great old stuff. There’s also a hint of 80s dancy jazz music here as well. Especially on track one, “Stop it All”. I’m having a little Basia flashback.

I’m digging Lydia Nor’s sort of carefree, joyful vocals. They’re kind of swoopy at times which may make it sound like the note has not exactly been hit, but it’s fun enough it doesn’t matter. She also wrote the lyrics on all the songs.

“Leave You Behind” has a real 60s feel to it. I want to have a cocktail party.

“Modern Day Mystic” makes me want to dance.

This is a nice fun, jazzy record that I think many will enjoy.

Posted on February 15, 2006

Track Listing
1. Stop it All
2. Glowing
3. Stay Where You Are
4. Lost
5. Leave You Behind
6. Watch Your Back
7. Sunday Samba
8. Modern Day Mystic
9. Around You
10. Message

[Laguna! Official Site]

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Album Review: Take Your Pic by Samantha Lombardi

Album Name: Take Your Pic
Artist: Samantha Lombardi
Year/Label: 2006 / Bad Apple / BSRG

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Well the first thing that blew me away about Sam Lombardi is that she’s 16 freaking years old! Hello! She sounds much more mature than that. She’s from Melbourne, Australia and has been singing all her (short) life. She first performed in front of an audience at the age of 9 so she’s almost an old veteran by now.

This record is made up of songs mostly written by others, but she did co-write four of the songs, so I’m going to go ahead and say she qualifies for this site.

The songs are really pretty good. I’m not usually a fan of rock quite this hard, but it’s done very well. The black and red packaging makes one expect punk, but it’s more complex than that. Not that there is anything wrong with punk music, don’t anyone send nasty letters. It’s just that punk is not generally known as a real complex, intellectual style of music.

The songs on “Take Your Pic” have a certain depth that is sometimes lacking in rock music today, especially that put out by teenagers. This is no Ashley Simpson. This is really good stuff. Well-written songs, great vocals and professional musicianship. The only thing is, I’d like to see her write more of her own stuff in the future.

Note: here’s something interesting, while choosing my favorites, I made it a point to not look at which songs she wrote and which ones she did not. I did not want to be swayed in either direction. I ended up choosing all songs she did co-write. This tells me that she’s quite talented…or at least* I *like her!

Stand out songs: “Moment In Time”, “Ordinary Day”, and “Open Your Eyes”

Posted on February 15, 2006

Comments:

Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: Hey everyone, My names Caitie and I love this album, I think that Sam is soooo very talented and I cant wait to hear more from her. Thank you so much for writing this review.
name: Caitie on Saturday, February 25, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Young & Stupid
2. What Your Are
3. Do You
4. Moment In Time
5. Ordinary Day
6. You Belong To Me
7. I’m Over You
8. Open Your Eyes
9. My Game
10. Happy
11. Me Myself & I
12. The Ones

[Samantha Lombardi Official Site]

Album Review: Rise Up With Fists (Single) by Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins

Album Name: Rise Up With Fists
Artist: Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
Year/Label: 2006 / Rough Trade Records

Review by David Adair

Dreamy waves of caressing guitars and laid back vocals wash over this down in the mouth tale of woe, as this Rilo Kiley starlet with help from The Watson twins, peers into the life of the downtrodden. The hymn like style, at times, gives Jenny an omnipotent feel and makes her observations compelling.

The aptly titled non-album B-side; ‘Paradise’ is a country fuelled trembler, whereby Lewis uses her soft and soothing voice to create a musical utopia. The topic matter of escaping from debt is yet another example of the trials of life being judged by a thoughtful and philosophical muso. Worldly pondering has never sounded so alluring.

Posted on February 8, 2006

Track Listing
1. RISE UP WITH FISTS
2. PARADISE

[Jenny Lewis Official Site]

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