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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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Sam Holmes 2004
Photo © Amy Freeman 2004  

(25 July 2004) The latest EP from Sam Holmes, based in Cheltenham, England, is a lightly arranged and heartfelt four-track demo made in 2003 (review). A self-titled EP drew critical acclaim from our editorial staff as well as authors for the Classic Rock Society about fifteen months ago. Sam clearly operates in the singer songwriter territory. The material on her latest EP is well played, sensitively sung and well produced. In addition to acoustic instrumentation, vocal layers add texture to the songs.

The EP opens with the track "Falling Down," a gently rocking ballad with occasionally layered vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar and light keyboard. "Breathe In" has a bluesy feel with more prominent piano--listen for the jazzy solo during the instrumental bridge--and overall instrumentation that is more robust. Lovely harmonies add texture and depth to the material. Sam's sweet voice works perfectly with the piano and acoustic guitar arrangement.

"Spaces" is a very lightly arranged ballad sung from Sam's heart. And it has been produced effectively with limited resources. But perhaps the most representative illustration of Sam's vocal talent her performance on the track "Solid Ground" that concludes this EP. Vocal layers perfectly join the acoustic arrangement of consisting of guitar and cello. Her tender vocals effectively deliver the heartfelt lyrical message.

While Sam now has amassed seven tracks, there are no plans for a commercial release. She is however out there performing on stage--check out the news section of her website for upcoming shows--and securing notariety in the music press. Sam Holmes has tremendous potential and we are going to be hearing more from this young woman.

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