(25 March 2012) The latest offering from Charlotte Martin is a combination DVD/CD set entitled Hiding Places (Test-Drive Records (USA) 885767417816, 2012). The set is comprised of an eight track audio EP and twelve track DVD. The EP includes three acoustic versions of previous numbers and five all-new songs. It is also available as a digital download.
The Hiding Places DVD was filmed, edited and produced by Ken Andrews. It showcases Charlotte Martin's two sold-out shows at Joe's Pub from January 2011. The 70-minute live performance and documentary DVD is the first official release of the artist's career that is uncensored, in her own words, and emphasizes the importance of her fight to continue making music despite all odds.
EP. As this review goes to initial print, our editorial staff has h previewed only the audio tracks for review. The stunning track "Mission Control" is the rousing and richly arranged opening number. Charlotte Martin's crystalline lead vocal soars above the swirling electronic arrangements. Lush backing harmonies add texture to the memorable chorus.
The first of three stunning acoustic renditions of earlier recordings is "The Dance." Listen for Charlotte's dramatic vocalise in the song's the final passage. As a perfect complement to the DVD that accompanies the EP, the new studio track has a live feel.
In the acoustic version of "Animal," piano backs Charlotte's evocative vocal delivery and layers of self harmonies underscore the melody. The final acoustic number is "Stromata." While her piano accompaniment contributes to the overall sound--listen for the tapping of the pedal--the new arrangement clearly features Charlotte's evocative vocal work.
"Tough" is a new acoustic-style track that works well alongside the other acoustic songs on Hiding Places. Similarly "The Last Song" is a gentle piano-backed ballad. We especially admire the glistening vocal production and very accurate reproduction of the piano part. Both songs sung atop lone piano, Charlotte's crystalline vocals gorgeously soar, sensually delivering the lyrical pasages.
Additional percussion joins guitar, keyboard and piano for the more powerful arrangement of "In A World." Additional vocal layers contribute to the rich sound of this new song. The EP concludes with standout track "Warrior." In addition to the piano melody that graces the track, strings add further texture, especially in the song's dramatic mid-section.
DVD. Under construction.
Perfect for long-time followers and new fans alike, the DVD/CD set captures Charlotte Martin's intense live performance and those that haven't seen her live will appreciate the behind the scenes footage.