Patti Rothberg

Candelabra Cadabra

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Some people equate commercial success with hard work and perseverance; others say it is simply a matter of luck. Actually, it is a combination of those things in many cases. Being proactive and focused certainly helps, but luck has a lot to do with it as well. Patti Rothberg was very unlucky when, through no fault of her own, EMI's U.S. division was abruptly discontinued in the late 1990s and she found herself without a record deal. But Rothberg took the proactive approach; instead of throwing in the towel, she continued to perform, write and record, and her second album, Candelabra Cadabra, was independently released in 2001. This 53-minute CD didn't receive the promotional muscle of a major label, and it didn't enjoy nearly as much exposure as Rothberg's 1996 debut, Between the 1 and the 9. Regardless, Candelabra Cadabra is a highly respectable sophomore outing from Rothberg, who handles most of the songwriting herself but has a little help from guitarist Freddie Katz (who produced the album). Candelabra Cadabra is unpredictable and enjoyably diverse, ranging from the punky power pop of the infectious "Dish It Out" to the bluesy folk-rock leanings of "The Wry It Girl" to the psychedelic touches of "Delicate Matters." Rothberg acknowledges glam rock on an inspired cover of David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream," but whatever style she embraces -- and whether she is being humorous, sarcastic, angry, philosophical, quirky, or poignant -- the New York City resident never fails to be recognizable on this excellent sophomore outing.

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