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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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The Cure For Bad Deeds CD Cover
Image © Nettwerk Productions 2002

Images © Jeff Wasilko 2002

(01 September 2002) Recently having completed her second album, The Cure for Bad Deeds, (Nettwerk (USA/Canada) 6700 30260 2 4, 2002) Martina Sorbara has very quickly gained the attention and admiration of many involved in the Canadian music industry. As Martina's popularity continues to grow while performing regular dates in Canada and the United States, her album is one of those musical gems you want to treat like a secret. Part of you wants to keep it to yourself, and part of you wants to tell the world because it is so good.

Most artists aspire to have talents that make them special--a quality about them that forces an audience to take notice. And some artists are special without ever trying to be. Martina Sorbara is such an artist. When one first catches a glimpse of Martina singing on stage it is only the beginning of the connection between the artist and the fan. Aside from her natural, intense beauty and effervescent personality, her voice is angelic with an amazing range, and her passion obvious and proud. Her lyrics are wise and poetic and her style is expressive and original.

Performing on stage with only the accompaniment of her drummer, Adam Hay, Martina plays both piano and guitar, switching from one instrument to the next throughout her set. Influences of pop, jazz, blues and folk are evident within her show and throughout her first independent album "Unplaceables" released in 1998 at the age of 19.

After her vocals, the piano is her primary instrument. She is also a self-taught guitarist with a captivating and highly original style. Her interest in the guitar began at age 11. At 15 she began writing her own music and performing it for others. She has already played at numerous festivals and has opened for acts such as Sarah Harmer and Andy Stochansky. She has performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas, at The Edmonton Folk Festival and at Summerfolk, to name a few.

One of the many outstanding talents that Martina possesses, and that she remains very modest about, is the construction of her own instruments. Martina made both of her acoustic guitars herself, with her own determination and craft. Martina's music appeals to all ages and genders. Perhaps the fact that Martina is influenced by a wide range of artists, from Sarah Vaughn to John Prine to Cyndi Lauper, explains the diverse array of listeners. Her hero, in musical terms, is Tom Waits.

The opening track of the album is "Bonnie & Clyde," a heartfelt slowly rocking ballad with Martina's sweetly sung vocals soaring above the string based arrangements. Light acoustic guitar and crisp percussion give "Cassanova" a jazz orientation that perfectly compliments Martina's crystalline vocals. "Undone" is a upbeat and accessible tune and one that will appeal to a broad audience. Vocals are wonderfully clear and perfectly suited to the lush arrangements.

Accompanied only by piano, the ballad "Claudia" and "Cherry Rd" accompanied by acoustic guitar both serve to illustrate the gentle sensuality of Martina's voice and her ability to deliver a highly emotional message in song. "Eggs Over Easy" is an upbeat and light rocker with vocals being perfectly supported by crisp percussion and piano. The vocal treatment in the chorus is especially enjoyable making the track one of the album standouts. The lounge-style "Eggs Over Easy" and "Better Man" presents a bluesy feel while "Call Wolf" returns the listener to Martine's guitar-based singer songwriter ballad texture that builds to rocking splendour as the song develops.

"Once I Was Mighty" is an emotionally charged rocker with lush string-based arrangements underscored by lush electric guitar and crisp percussion. Certain to please a broad audience. A gentle tune entitled "This Ship" is vocally intense with piano and backing harmonies building in the background while Martina's voice carryies the melody of this heartfelt ballad. "The End Of The World" continues in the singer songwriter style with acoustic guitar accompanying the sensitively sung vocal track. The more richly arranged--think Kate Bush "Running Up That Hill"--"Bonnie & Clyde II" concludes the album.

Martina is very passionate about life and her passion is infectious. The songs on The Cure For Bad Deeds clearly illustrate that passion. Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. An album that will interst frequent visitors here, clearly Martina Sorbara's album is a must listen!

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