(02 September 2007) Released almost one year ago as a DVD alone and sold strictly at her live performances, Something Like A DVD (new catalog info: Dinosaur Fight Records (USA), DFR006, 2006) quickly sold out. Charlotte Martin and Ken Andrews re-released the DVD (review) with a bonus CD in 2007 to significant acclaim. The DVD closes the chapter on the 2005 tour season as the artist's EPs on the heels of On Your Shore and before Stromata drew to a close. We review the eight track bonus CD below.
As this article goes to press, news of Charlotte Martin's first covers album entitled Reproductions is drawing significant attention. Management informs us that the album features renditions of some favorite Interpol, Joni Mitchell, and New Order songs, to name a few!
The CD opens with a spiritual track entitled "Genesis," with lyrics drawn from biblical text and is arranged with multiple harmony layers a capella demonstrating a lovely combination of Charlotte's classical and theatrical tendencies. One of the multitude of "Four Walls" arrangements called the 'funeral version' featured at Charlotte's MySpace earlier in the release cycle follows. The title draws from the slow tempo that combines organ with percussion. The singer's bright voice is in stark contrast to the instrumental arrangements.
"Grave Clothes" is an all new piano- and keyboard-wash-based track. Listeners will recognize portions of the melody and the style from Charlotte's live repertoire and back catalog. Another new song, "Used Parts" is a play on words for listeners in that the instrumental arrangement, melody and sung parts are also obviously drawn from Charlotte's prior releases. "So Schizo" is vocally instense sung atop percussive piano and illustrative of Charlotte's live performances and therefore perfect to accompany the DVD in this set.
The bonus CD includes a percussive track entitled "Lost and Found" sung with keyboard washes adding texture to the arrangement. Listeners will delight with the vocal mix with tight harmony layers working well with thickening instrumental arrangements as the song develops. A powerful number, it must be wonderful to see Charlotte perform in a live venue. The album progresses to the tender and sweetly delivered piano ballad and standout track "Overcome." Charlotte sings the stunning track without harmony layers atop piano melody and keyboard washes. The CD concludes with another standout entitled "Revival." Rich percussion and light keyboard arrangements perfectly balance solo and harmony layers of Charlotte's tenderly delivered vocals.
Charlotte Martin continues to delight audiences coast to coast with live performances. The DVD is a wonderful tribute to her pre-Stromata performances. This release includes a lovely bonus CD that will delight long time enthusiasts and newcomers equally. We anxiously await her next release entitled Reproductions!--Audrey Elliot in New York