Terri DiMarco

Pacific Ocean

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Sounding in many ways to a soothing Carla Olson, this record has a relaxing atmosphere running through it. The opening title track has a good deal of meticulous electric guitar work, but performed in a style that has a lot of empty space around it. A more pop-friendly or adult contemporary sound pervades "Little Piece of Heaven," which has a nice melody and a good beat. Vocally, DiMarco hits the mark time and again with strong performances and lush harmonies. The guitar solo closing the song is another asset. "Mechanics Move Me" resembles a coffeehouse folk song done by the likes of Jewel, or even Jane Siberry. Lyrically, the song isn't as solid as it could be, but the sparseness of the arrangement is the focal point. The hidden a cappella version is excellent, though. Each song on the record has a clear idea and presentation, whether its folk or the pop rock of "Wasted Time." It's also one of the few times the musician demonstrates her strong, crisp and deliberate style of playing. The core of the album is rooted in "Reason for This Rhyme," a quasi-power ballad to which DiMarco could add some searing guitar solos, but she doesn't, preferring to let her supporting cast play integral parts. One song which doesn't live up to expectations is the messy country-blues arrangement on "Try to Be Normal." The song is too busy, and the overall performance sounds like filler. Thankfully, the finale, "Haunting," is a lovely and melodic track with an orchestral feel to it.

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