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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Scarlet Penta - Gaps - Album Cover
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\r\nimage © Scarlet Penta 2012

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interview and photos (2012)

Scarlet Penta
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image © Scarlet Penta 2012


(01 July 2012) Scarlet Penta is the singer and the moniker of the band she has formed with Joost Maglev. The team met when they were with the Dutch band Galanor in 2010 and early 2011. Scarlet was the fourth singer to work with Galanor and about six months into her run with the band, Galanor broke up leaving the artist without the creative outlet she so longed. Joost contacted her about working together, the four track Specialty limited edition EP was recorded and released. The foundation for an album now in place, the project moved forward. Read more about the artist and see our exclusive photos by Joseph Voncken in this interview.

Scarlet Penta's debut full length album is entitled Gaps (Joost P Doesburg / Jessica Overdijk (Netherlands), 2012). Independently released on 01 August 2012, it began shipping immediately. In addition to the stunning vocal work of Scarlet Penta, the lineup includes: Joost Maglev (backing vocals andall instruments except as noted following); Sebas Honing (guitars); Nick Reitsha (drums: tracks 2, 6, 8); Twe Van Der Pol (drums: tracks 5, 7); George Van Olfen (piano and keyboards: tracks 7, 10). The project was arranged and mixed by Joost with songs written with Scarlet. The team are assembling a lineup for a range of live performances to promote the album.

The Gaps album features Scarlet's powerful and wide-ranging crystalline voice that has been honed with years of practice and training. The overall sound is favorably compared to other Dutch rock bands -- After Forever, Epica, Nemesea, Stream of Passion and Within Temptation -- for example. Consequently there are some metal edges, but in general there are far fewer on Gaps than with these bands and that adds to the accessibility of Scarlet Penta's music.

Gaps is comprised of ten tracks with a total running time of about 53 minutes. It opens with the powerful track "Face In The Crowd." Listen to the sheer energy behind the drums and crunching guitar and prepare to be amazed how Scarlet's opening vocal soars above without any additional layering. The contribution of Joost Maglev's arrangements and growth since Galanor is immediate.

Scarlet is joined by Joost's backing vocals in the warm and highly memorable chorus of "Rival," an upbeat and catchy rock song. The album's first standout is "That One Special Person." Warm keyboard washes contribute to the orchestral backdrop recur and are contrasted with percussive metal edged arrangements contribute to memorable choruses.

Scarlet Penta's "Phantom" ballad is a more lightly arranged electro-acoustic number. Listen for the evocative delivery of Scarlet's tender vocal part, the range and power that she exhibits in its delivery. In contrast, the "When I Return" ballad is more richly arranged, and features the singer's upper range and demonstrates her tremendous vocal talent.

"Pacifica" is a powerful rock number whose wonder is the sharp distinction between well delivered verses backed with crunching guitar and awe inspiring full on choruses. Listen for the outstanding mix of the vocal work in this track. The contrast between gorgeously delivered verse and powerful chorus and build up through the running time of "Summers ~ Episode II" clearly makes it album's second standout track. The traditional rock number also includes Joost's backing vocals in the chorus and an oustanding mid-song guitar solo.

The epic length "Save Me" contains a passage with the gentlest and most stunning ballad on the record. Backed with light keyboard washes and a increasing electric guitar and bass, the verses of the track feature Scarlet with her most sensual lyrical delivery of the album. Style and tempo changes accentuated by instrumental breaks contribute to the powerful constrasts within the number. Perhaps written with their forthcoming live performances with the individual instrumental excursions that have been included within it, the 10-minute epic will certainly work well on stage.

Gaps concludes with another progressive oriented piece and the album's third standout. "Dead End" opens with brief piano-based ballad segment -- listen to the singer's soaring and crystalline vocals -- rapidly digresses into a full-on metal-edged rocker -- listen for the power of Scarlet's voice, then rock with the memorable melody. A reprise of the entire number concludes this stunning track.

We are clearly going to hear a lot more music from Scarlet Penta. She has a strong following in social media that continues to build with interest in this new project. Visit Scarlet's website to to order the CD. Bravo!

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