CD REVIEW: Caromia - The Spectrum
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/30/2012 - 03:15 PM EDT
Album: The Spectrum
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/pop
Sounds Like: Maria Muldaur, Carolyn Wonderland, Joni Mitchell, Marcia Ball
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: The River, Mountains of North Carolina, Be kInd
North Carolina based Singer/Songwriter Caromia just released her latest CD entitled The Spectrum in 2012. This is her second release to date . Cited influences include Joni Mitchell, Frazey Ford and Anais Mitchell.
The CD gently takes flight with “At Ease” a smooth intro groove that serves up an inviting vocal groove against impressive fretwork, smooth as silk rhythm section and mesmerizing vocal delivery from Caromia. Track 2 “Virgil Grape” presents a slow moving piece that serves up a methodical musical build with a passionate melodic delivery with heartfelt vocals from Caromia that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Mountains of North Carolina” delivers an upbeat melody with impressive strings, thought provoking lyrical content and hypnotic vocals. The production quality is impressive and the musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Along the way you will notice an array of instrumentation with things like cello, upright bass, violin, accordion, organ, percussive accents built upon a solid rhythmic foundation. Song for song the combination of Caromia’s voice and earthy fretwork is masterful. Now turning our attention over to Caromia - as for her vocal abilities - she is quite impressive. Her vocal style is cut from the cloth of Maria Muldaur, Feist, Carolyn Wonderland, Joni Mitchell and even Marcia Ball. But there is a soulful quality to her voice as well reminiscent of Adele and Janis Joplin. It definitely works well within the confines of this catalogue. Caromia showcases an impressive vibrato, falsetto and overall vocal passion clearly a strong and confident vocal ability. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. This is an amazing quality that not many artists can execute. This X-Factor quality clearly makes Caromia a marquee talent. No doubt she has solid musical instincts behind the microphone. This CD from Caromia delivers 10 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating. From flowing “Just a River” to heartfelt “The Real World” to striking “Be Kind” to smooth as silk “Nothin’ Like You” to melodic Bird on My Shoulder” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 10 “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this
It’s hard to find serious weakness with this production. A few songs are a bit short while a few others are a bit winded. Some aspects to Caromia’s vocal performances are a bit overly-eccentric and at times can come across as over the top emotionally. Not so sure how compatible this would be when exposed to a mass audience. Some of the above do effect the CD’s overall marketability.
I like everything about Caromia. She's truly an infectious artist that possess a "Gold Standard" - look, sound, appeal, talent and vocal passion, persona and presence. She also is an impressive songwriter, guitarist and pianist. From start to finish “The Spectrum” is an impressive catalogue of music. The music is warm and earthy, highly passionate, uplifting and very passionate. The pin drop moments are amazing, and her passioante falsetto is to die for. The songwriting is an interesting snapshot of music from a clairvoyant artist that has quite a lot to offer. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalogue is extremely consistent and fills the space with what I would describe as peaceful earthy exuberance.
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