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]


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]


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


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

[Jenny Lewis Official Site]


Album Review: Carolyn Edwards by Carolyn Edwards

Album Name: Carolyn Edwards
Artist: Carolyn Edwards
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

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Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

Carolyn Edwards has a past in the bands The Negro Problem, Spindle and 3D Picnic. This is her solo debut and it’s multi-layered and gorgeous.

“Monica” has her playing her piano in a honky tonk style. It’s a charming country ditty with smart lyrics.

“Solace” is a great ballad with lovely vocals. Edwards reminds me a little of Aimee Mann here.

“Factory Moon” is another gem. It’s old-fashioned sounding like an alternate universe Doris Day with a more realistic outlook on life.

“Shrink” is a bossa about an obnoxious girl trying to befriend the narrator.

Edwards’ sense of humor really shines here. Her debut is a classy record.

Posted on February 14, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Lunacy
2. Monica
3. Solace
4. Lazy
5. Factory Moon
6. Wrestling Match
7. Shrink
8. Secret Monster
9. The Argument
10. Leave
11. Beauty Wasted

[Carolyn Edwards Official Site]


Album Review: Flirting… by Elizabeth Carpenter

Album Name: Flirting…
Artist: Elizabeth Carpenter
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

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Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

Elizabeth Carpenter has made music for many years and you can tell by her record. She’s an experienced artist who writes great songs.

“Mauvais Foi” is straight up New Orleans jazz with a sassy approach.

Hoagy Carmichel’s “Baltimore Oriole” gets a lively reading. Carpenter’s sexy vocal and the expert backing are a delight.

The title track is a song with smart, lusty lyrics. Carpenter sings of casual relationships with verve and daring.

The rendition of Carmichel and Johnny Mercer’s “Skylark” even rivals k.d lang’s version. Carpenter’s gorgeous vocal and the relaxed approach works wonders.

“Bad and Lonely end” is a tango about a love ending.

Elsewhere Carpenter has a Clint Eastwood dream(don’t we all?) and sings of skindiving.

This album is a real treat.

Posted on February 14, 2006


Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: Carpenters’ new album Flirting, is everything your review gives it credit for and more: It’s original, snappy, sultry, luscious..and fresh. There’s so much talent and pleasure packed into that little CD, it’s unstoppable….demanding to be played over and over again.
name: Ann Morgen on Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Mauvais Foi
2. Baltimore Oriole
3. I Like You ‘Cuz
4. Flirting…
5. Foxxy Boy
6. Skylark
7. SkinDiving
8. Bad and Lonely End
9. 1/2 Way Thru
10. Clint Eastwood Dream
11. SkinDiving – dance remix

[Elizabeth Carpenter Official Site]