Vicci Martinez


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Vicci Review

by Matthew Chisling

Though Vicci Martinez did not win The Voice back in 2011, she managed to secure herself a record deal on Universal Republic, the launching pad for Javier Colon and Dia Frampton, who were the winner and runner-up, respectively, on the program the year she competed. Rather than rush an album out like the two other break-out stars of the program's first season, Martinez took the time to write on her own album, and collaborate with rock producers such as Peter Svensson and Tim Pagnotta, and the result is easily the most enjoyable and enduring album of the three releases. Martinez has already recorded considerably more music than most artists by the time they are signed to major labels, which helps explain why this effort appears so unified in production, composition, and delivery. Unlike many "break-out" records that can seem too eclectic or unfocused in this era, Martinez' eponymous release is clearly held together by the artist's raw talent: she is able to assemble a track list that is both fresh and diverse without ever seeming indulgent. "I Can Love" is the power rock anthem that Kelly Clarkson could dream of recording; "Let Go" is a ballad presented with a poignancy even P!nk would be jealous of, and the inclusion of tracks such as "Out of Control" and "Hold Me Darlin'" are the kind of lamented, adult contemporary tunes that beget authenticity and realism. When all is said and done, however, the jewel of this collection is "Come Along," her collaboration with mentor and former coach, Cee Lo Green. On this haunting, midtempo number, these powerhouse performers create a laborious love song as chilling as pop records get nowadays. It's rare to find a mainstream recording that brings female-empowering rock music to the masses, and yet somehow this release does so while feeling completely commercial in the best of ways. Vicci is utter proof that this woman is a star, one that beckons comparisons to Martinez and legends of rock such as Pat Benatar and Chrissie Hynde.

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