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CD REVIEW: Motorbaby - "Rise"
By David Lockeretz - 07/17/2002 - 04:13 PM EDT

Artist: Motorbaby
Album: "Rise"
CD Review: This hit and miss collection of 14 songs shows signs of things to come, but a lot of work will be needed to get there.

"Motorbaby" is the eclectic musical vision of singer/songwriter Sharon Middendorf. She obviously strives for passion and intensity in her music, and sometimes comes close, but the sad fact is that her voice is not strong enough to carry this album. While she delivers convincing sass on rocking tunes like "Motorbaby" and "You Can't Download Me", she can't make ballads such as "Love Is A Shadow" or "Rise" into the emotional showcases they need to be.

Middendorf's songwriting shows definite possibilities. On the pretty but safe "Rise", she shows mastery of commercial song form. The bluesy "Dear Timothy" has interesting chord changes reminiscent of Ani Di Franco; one of this disc's strengths is the wide variety of styles. Some of the more hard-rocking songs show influence of Garbage and Sheryl Crow; in some of the acoustic numbers have touches of Shawn Colvin and Paula Cole.

Hopefully in future releases, Motorbaby will move toward developing a consistent sound that will turn the heads of their listeners.

You can contact Motorbaby at; email

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