Cynthia Catania

Cynthia Catania

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Cynthia Catania Review

by Joe Viglione

Cynthia Catania is a bold female singer who takes the commercial zest of Sheryl Crow and mixes it up with Tracy Bonham's thick album rock sounds. It makes for a unique blend that producer Tad Wadhams skillfully crafts on this seven-song indie disc. The video of "Down on Me" (not the Janis Joplin arrangement of the traditional tune, but an original) is colorful and exciting, and of all the material here written by the Catania/Wadhams team, it is the one song with contributions from pianist Nick Pierone. It's very radio-friendly, with bubbling elements that Tad Wadhams and the singer let slip in and out of the mix. The album opens with full-bodied rhythms and mid-ranged guitars for "Time out in Vegas," and it has that same likeability that Sheryl Crow poured into her breakthrough hit five years earlier, 1994's "All I Wanna Do." "Mermaid" is dreamy rock, pretty melodies defined with a hard snare drum, and here is where Catania begins to develop her own identity. She takes it a step further on the show-and-tell mindset of "Truth & Lies." They soak the snare in echo here, with liquid guitars holding up the singer's voice on this tough ballad stretching like an elastic band. Rather than hit the listener with another up song, they take the mood down another notch with the even dreamier "All Gone Now." It's a terrific three-way segue, concluding with "Without Sleep," which does take things back to the snappy pop the disc started with, a close to 30-minute journey. It's the way albums used to be: compact enough to fit into a half-hour TV show with lyrics compelling enough to be just that.

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