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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 Little Things CD Cover
Image © Under The Radar 2005

My Life In 5 Songs CD Cover Image © Figleaf Entertainment 2003

(30 October 2005) Claudia DiNatale released her EP My Life in 5 Songs (Figleaf Entertainment (USA), 75020 52672 3, 2003) in October 2003. In August 2005 she released her full length debut CD The Little Things (Under The Radar (USA) UTR-0028, 2005). "There has been a lot of growth since then," according to Claudia. "The lyrics have matured, and The Little Things is much more from the heart. It is a little more alternative, and the EP was more pop." Her music is likened to that of Sarah McLachlan and Dido, but Claudia's own personality and style stands out.

She first began songwriting about four years ago and has been honing her skills ever since. The Little Things was primarily co-written with producer/musician Rob Arthur. She said, "Usually I would write the lyrics and Rob would arrange the music or chord structures. It worked well, as having someone with different input can help open your eyes and mind." She and Rob had collaborated previously on her EP.

Claudia sings all the lead vocals and plays piano on her album. Special mention also goes to her supporting band members: Rob Arthur on rhodes, bass guitars, piano and minimog; Rich Mercurio on drums; Jack Petruzelli on electric guitars; Rob Calder on bass; Tony Widoff on synth strings; and Jeff Allen on bass. They have a winning combination with their catchy melodies and great lyrics.

This Canadian songstress was born in 1981. She began piano lessons at age six, and at age nine, she developed an interest in musical theater. The starred in famed musical productions such as "Oliver," "Fiddler On The Roof," "Evita," and "Little Shop of Horrors." By the time she was sixteen years old, she started operatic voice lessons. "At 16, I started to take music more seriously," she recalls. "I took classical lessons to better my voice and a couple of years later I started to do demos. I never sat and thought, 'one day I am going to be a famous singer,' but it has worked out that I am pursuing it professionally.'"

Claudia said, "I concluded long ago that music really is a calling for me. It may have started as a hobby, but it's so much more now. I get energized from music, and I convey my own energy with music. It's that simple." The contemporary pop songs Claudia and Rob have now written express the common problems and challenges of everyday life in relationships and love issues. Claudia has a wonderful musical range and she explores the varying pop sounds with her sweet and powerful voice.

The title track, "The Little Things," is a haunting and melodic song. Claudia's soaring vocals are stunning, as she injects power and passion into her work. This song was her first single, and it is definitely a catchy and memorable tune. The soft ballad, "Been With You," is reminiscent of Dido, but Claudia's own personality shines through. She exudes a tender quality to the material. "All Illusions" and "This Little Universe" are upbeat pop songs with a lot of pizzazz.

Another standout track is the soulful ballad, "Get Love." She is expressive and emotive in her rendition. The backing instrumentals certainly complement this sensitive and moving song. The beat picks up with the spicy "Not Gonna Take Me Down." Claudia continues with her striking vocals and her impassioned approach. She gives the song a great deal of soul. She engages the listener with her angelic voice in another ballad, "Love Wins Everytime." She has a soothing tone and heartfelt emotions come through.

Claudia DiNatale has come a long way with The Little Things. One can easily hear a superb and an emerging talent arising from these twelve tracks. Her beautiful vocals are top notch and captivate the listener. As she matures in her songwriting, it will be interesting to see what she comes up with next. This album was well produced and has stunning results.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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