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CD REVIEW: Christia Mantzke - "The First"
By Gian F - 01/16/2004 - 10:04 PM EST

Artist: Christia Mantzke
Album: "The First"
CD Review: Genre: Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 7
Songwriting Skills: 6
Performance Skill: 7
Best Songs: I Hate It, Alone Forever, Just Like You, Conversion (Take Me Now)
Weakness: Over Produced
CD Review: Most CDs that I receive suffer from inferior production. In this case, the entire project is well-produced...perhaps too well produced with the exception of the Michael "Smidi" Smith produced tracks. So what's the problem? How did it fall into the clutches of mediocrity? Because Christia's vocal talents are greater than the songs that she uses to showcase them. It's difficult to arrive at that conclusion at first because you get distracted (if not not overwhelmed) by the technical quality of the disc, the talent level of the musicians, and Christia's powerful vocals that occasionally rise above the busy, but well-produced mixes.

Since today's music artists only need two radio hits before establishing themselves as "stars," Christia meets the criteria for becoming one by delivering two solid radio friendly songs on this project that have hit potential. The first of which is, and should be, "I Hate It," a mid-tempo ballad with soft undertones that allow Christia's vocal agility to take center stage, and unlike the majority of the songs on this project, it breathes and benefits from a nice musical and vocal arrangement. "Alone Forever" is a nice follow-up that delicately balances the edgier, more aggressive apsects of Christia's rock side with here pop sensibilities while highlighting her vocal power.

Advice: Less production, more vocal nuances will help to highlight your strengths as a singer and songwriter. Remember, sometimes less (even lyrically) is more...

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