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CD REVIEW: Stephanie Sante - "Coffee Culture"
By Gian F - 06/20/2005 - 10:29 PM EDT

Artist: Stephanie Sante
Album: "Coffee Culture"
CD Review: Genre: Ambient
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 8
Best Songs: Vanilla Steamer, Cappachino, Caramel Latte, Expresso
Weakness: ?
CD Review: When I first opened the CD package containing the second LP from Stephanie Sante, a musician from Boulder, Colorado, who studied classical and flamenco guitar as a college music major, I was immediately impressed with the design and marketing concept of her CD: A project containing twelve instrumental tracks that were all inspried by (and creatively used) the names of different types of coffee.

I don't drink coffee so I couldn't immediately draw the artistic correlation to the various titles and I thought, "This is probably going to be cheesy coffee shop music." Then I listened to it in its entirety while driving to the MTV Movie Awards in LA, and I was both sucked in and blown away - at the same time.

This stellar status of this project can be attributed to its clever blend of ambient, jazz, and world music genres that benefit commercially from a subtle integration of electronica. Stephanie's many musical influences shine through in direct and indirect ways, but it's her mastery of creating stimulating arrangements and provocative compositions that are the key selling points to this project, and the real joy for music lovers who are in the mood for "something different."

While all of the tracks on this project seem to percolate with a gregarious theme, the most commercial track, "Vanilla Steamer," slowly simmers, conjuring up sensuous imagery with it's slow, steady, percussive backbeat and dreamy undertones. It takes you places where the other tracks don't. It should be serviced to AC radio as a single.

Other stand-out tracks "Cappachino" and "Caramel Latte," will appeal to those in the music licensing communities. This entire project is great for stimulating thoughts, conversation, or creating a social astmosphere...and isn't that what coffee culture is really about?

Advice: Have your management contact Starbucks about licensing. Keep up the innovative work!

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