Modern Loneliness

Carol Martini

Independent release, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/27/2001

Today we're going to have a lesson in constructive criticism. This is when you have to say something negative about a person or an experience which was, for the most part, somewhat positive.

Today's subject: Modern Loneliness, the third independent release from California-based singer/songwriter Carol Martini. This 17-song disc suggests a lot of heartbreak and personal growth, but lacks full musical development and variety that would make the listener want to keep coming back again and again for more.

Wait a minute, you're saying, I thought he said he was going to be constructive. Patience, laddie.

Martini has a pleasant enough singing style, though she does tend to stick to one particular means of delivering the goods without wavering much. This does allow Martini to build a level of familiarity with the listener - something which definitely proves beneficial when listening to an otherwise "unknown" artist. But this reliance on nearly singular-tone singing does hurt in the long-term; by the time you get to songs like "I Survived Your Leaving," "Please Make The World Go Away" and "I'm Praying For Rain," you almost find youself wishing that Martini would do some kind of improv style.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

While her backup band - including co-producer Keith Lynch - proves their talents (and sounds surprisingly crisp for an independent CD), they too don't offer terribly much in terms of musical variety. Lynch does try to whip out an acoustic guitar riff at the opening of "Love Kills Love," but the momentum this performance sets is quickly broken by falling back to the tried-and-true band sound that makes up Modern Loneliness. (Would adding a keyboard or two occasionally hurt? Just a thought.)

This is all a shame - simply because, despite the subject matters on some songs being darker than a solar eclipse, Modern Loneliness isn't a bad album at all. Martini shows she has talent on songs like "Love Will Never Give Up On You," "Take Me To Love Again" and "Guess". Granted, I don't always want to listen to songs which have more raw emotional nerves than a support group meeting. But Martini somehow does make the listener able to appreciate the songs and even cast a curious glimpse into what sounds like more romantic upheavals than the comic strip Cathy has ever documented.

Music is often said to be therapeutic. If this is the case and the songs on this disc are based on real-life experiences, Modern Loneliness must have saved Martini from many bills from her psychiatrist. With a little more polish on her singing style and songwriting skills, as well as the injection of more variety into her backing band, she could well prove to be someone worthy of note. As it sits now, this is a disc which shows promise, but proves more development is needed. If that occurred, I'd be more than willing to give her music another chance.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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