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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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Veins CD Cover
Charlotte Martin: Veins
\r\nImage © Test Drive Records 2005

more Charlotte Martin:
Interview (On Your Shore) (Dec 2004)
Interview (Darkest Hour) (July 2005)
Test-Drive Songs (2002)
In Parentheses (2003)
On Your Shore (2004)
Veins (2005)

(05 November 2005) Charlotte Martin concluded 2005 with her second coast-to-coast headline tour that will culminate in the live recording of Something Like A DVD. It will certainly capture the vibe that is only produced in one of Charlotte's live performances. Charlotte offerred audiences an exclusive on-tour EP entitled "Darkest Hour" during her first round of headline shows earlier this year. She is celebrating this tour with the release of her latest EP Veins.

Charlotte's writing on this recording continues to mature significantly. There are seven highly varied and somewhat "darker" studio tracks and also a live rendition of "On Your Shore" that gives a high quality glimpse into what her strictly-solo live performances are like. Presently available from popular online resources, the self-released EP is an absolute treasure.

The EP opens with the robust self-titled rocker, crisp percussion perfectly underscoring piano and Charlotte's powerfully soaring voice. The singer's vocal excursions reach through her range and are filled with emotional energy supporting the lyrical message. "Bones" is a tenderly sung ballad with rich keyboard washes supporting the gentle melody. The sweetness of Charlotte's voice perfectly expresses the content.

Thick bass guitar and percussive elements drive "Under The Gravel Skies" beneath the heavy reverb of Charlotte's vocals. Her vocal power is evident in the soaring notes of the chorus and especially in the a capella middle eight; layers contribute additional texture to this track that grows significantly on the listener with repeated plays. This is a tremendous track in her live show.

The upbeat electronic rhythm and heavy bass riffs within the pop-oriented "Four Walls" make it one of the EP's sure standouts. Charlotte's incredibly powerful vocals span the entire song. Expressive vocals work with the powerful hook to produce a very memorable track. "Cars On Crescent" is an atmospheric instrumental played on piano. Used as the intro to Charlotte's live show this tour, and with musical themes not far from some of Charlotte's other material, it is tremendous.

The simply arranged piano ballad "Days Of The Week" is sung expressively in the middle of Charlotte's range. The piano is tender and further string riffs add texture to the number. The final studio piece, "Root," is a Charlotte Martin classic track soaring vocals sung atop percussive piano. Her tremendous lead is backed with harmony vocals adding great texture. The piano instrumental in the middle eight is reminiscent of "One Girl Army" but shorter.

The EP concludes with a powerful and rousing live rendition of "On Your Shore." The extremely well recorded track is a perfect souvenir of her live shows this tour. Listeners will certainly get a glimpse into the tremendous on-stage performance of Charlotte Martin. Veins is a superb EP and a perfect appetizer to her forthcoming album due out in early 2006.  

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