Amy Correia

Transportation Songs (E.P.)

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At the core of Transportation Songs lies mature songwriting, airtight melodies, and an artist with a sizable musical palette. Pristinely layered, this EP pays as much attention to sonic detail (every guitar is gritty, but tightly reined in) as it does to showcasing Correia's formidable vocal talents. She croons "Gramophone" as a lullaby, then rocks her way through "The Bike," easily a precursor to the matter-of-fact vocal style of Avril Lavigne. At other times, Correia manages to channel the drawl and laid-back style of Sheryl Crow; on "Starfishin'," she even manages to recall some of Gillian Welch's later work. It's this diversity that is both the greatest strength and the downfall of the album -- while Correia borrows (and often improves upon) the sounds of some of the best female pop/rock artists around, the word "derivative" looms over each track just a little too closely. Although the majority of the songs appeared on her full-length release, Carnival Love, the disc remains a fantastic introduction to a gifted singer/songwriter, and the track "12-04," the story of a stay-at-home mom reclaiming her independence, stands as one of the best kiss-off songs in recent memory.