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CD REVIEW: Tracey Amos - "Who Are We Really?"
By Gian F - 02/24/2006 - 12:59 AM EST

Artist: Tracey Amos
Album: "Who Are We Really?"
CD Review: Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 9
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 9
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Shortline, Innocent, Sleeping With Addiction, Definition Of Love, Life In The City
Weakness: None
CD Review: Tracey Amos (who is in no way related to, or should be compared with Tori Amos) is a San Francisco Bay Area singer/songwriter/performer via Los Angeles. With production and songwriting collaboration by one of the most overachieving and underutilized producers in the business, Xavier Dphrepaulezz, and a posse of top notch musicians, her project is the early frontrunner for my 2006 Muse's Muse Award.

Xavier's penchant for creating Prince influenced production beams through on the song "Life In The City," which is reminiscent of the Purple One's "Money Don't Matter Tonight" and features Xavier's vocals which conjure up visions of Rahsaan Patterson. It's a smooth track with accessible content that could work well on AA radio or as a theme song to a TV show. The track captures the versatility and softer (i.e. Pop) side of Tracey's voice. The two talents blended together are like coffee and cream, but make no mistake about it, this is Tracey's show.

Unlike other female artist/male producer combos in which the female artist is a mere puppet, Tracey pulls her own strings and marches to the beat of her own drummer, showcasing superlative songwriting talent and a strong commercial brand identity in the process. Her signature song, "Shortline" is guaranteed to find a home in heavy rotation and light up radio switchboards everytime it is played. It's a Rock track that rolls; starting soft, incorporating some Gwen Stefani Soca nuances that come out of no where, builds to an amazing climax and ends with strong punctuation. It gives music lovers the kind of contrasting elements and invigorating stimulation that records used to contain in the 70s - plus lyrical content they can chew on everytime they listen to it.

Other stand out tracks on this CD (which needs to be purchased and enjoyed in its entirety) are the opening track, "Sleeping With Addiction"; Tracey's lone ballad and title song "Who Are We Really," which recalls "Free," the earlier work of Prince on 1999; the grunge inspired "Tear It Down"; the sassy 50 Cent flavored "Cadillac"; and the radio crafted hit "Definition Of Love."

So if the question is Who Are We Really? The answer is a crew that is destined for major success.

Advice: Get your management team together. They are going to be very busy supporting the demand for your music and talent.

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