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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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Decembergirl EP
Image © 2000\r\n\r\nDecembergirl Records

Marina Belica
Photo Pam Springsteen
Image © 2000 Decembergirl Records

(14 January 2001) The first solo EP to emerge from Marina Belica since the breakup of October Project is entitled Decembergirl(Decembergirl Records (USA) DCE011, 2000). The first 1000 copies areindividually numbered and inscribed by the artist and include 3D glassesto get the full effect of the cover artwork. It is a wonderful EP andraises great interest in a full length album. Of the five tracks,two are penned by Belica alone, one is cowritten with Dana Pomfret,one is an October Project cover and the final track is traditional.Read our full length feature on Marina Belica incorporating anexclusive Musical Discoveries interviewhere.

Marina Belica is perhaps the unsung hero of October Project.Her keyboard and backing vocals added significant texture to the band'ssound as evidenced in video footage released by the band during theirheyday considered by fans as the holy grail. October Project's albumsare still generally available and regularly receive acclaim worldwideto this very day. A comprehensive artist biography is available atMarina's official website.

Marina provides lead and backing vocals as well as somekeyboard and piano parts on the EP and is joined by a variety of guestartists: Joy Askew (guitar and backing vocals), Bill Debron (drums), Matt Garrison (bass), Cheryl Ann Futton (harp), Michelle Kinney (cello), Francois Mouttin (bass) John Peckman (drums) Randy Brecker (trumpet), Dave Richards (bass), Jim Thomo (tympani) and Chris Cunningham (guitar,keyboard, computers), Yuri Matveyev (guitar) and Artjon Yakushenko (violin). Backing vocalists also include Dana Pomfred, Deobra Kewallo.

Emil Adler (keyboards, harmonium), Jim Chapdelaine (electric guitar), David Sabitano (guitar), Urbano Sanchez (percussion) and Julie Flanders (backing vocals) guest on a stunning cover of October Project's "Return To Me". Naturally thereturn of several of the band's orignal members contributes to thefaithful reproduction of the song albeit with Marina's sweeter and more crystalline lead vocal.

Decembergirl opens with an original track entitled"When You Go" written very much in the October Project style. We werereminded instantly of "Where You Are" when hearing the song's arrangementsand drum part. Marina's voice is delicate yet powerful and it is wonderfulto hear her singing lead. "The Wheel" is an upbeat coffeehouse-style track. Layers of harmony vocals contribute add density in the chorus. Instrumentals are richly arranged but achieve a live sound in the recording.

The bluesy ballad "Come With Me" illustrates the evocativesensuality of Marina's voice. The trumpet part is especially notable andcarries the instrumental arrangement poised against the cello. A uniquearrangement of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is the final track on the EP. It is dominated by vocal layers with only a hint of instrumentation untilthe bridge where it echoes the theme established by the vocalsbuilding to a dramatic climax. Sensitive vocals, violin and guitarconclude the piece.

Marina's Decembergirl EP provides a wonderfulintroduction to plans for a full length album. Read our full length feature on Marina Belica incorporating anexclusive Musical Discoveries interviewhere.The EP is destined to achieve widespread critical acclaim and worth a cross-country journey, we certainly think it is a must listen!.

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