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CD REVIEW: Patti Rothberg - Candlelabra-Kadabra
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Patti Rothberg
Genre: Pop
CD Review:
The resilience of talent is unmistakable, and necessary if you expect to get anywhere on the road of TV, tours, sales. Patti Rothberg had it all a couple years ago. EMI behind her, videos, tour bus, etc, etc. The great EMI folded and Patti was a mother without a country.

She has returned.

There’s a famous play called Subways Are For Sleeping, but I can’t imagine catching any winks with Rothberg doing some of the things she’s doing on Candlelabra-Kadabra. Also, where could she plug all these electric guitars in? They are plentiful, setting off the soft, ‘ordinary girl’ vocals that Patti withdraws in unending supply. ‘Shadows of Me’ is especially fulsome in its Edie Brickell-like voice for the new century. And then the acoustic ballad ‘You Killed My Time’ sounds like a girl of a slightly younger age who’s being forced to grow up faster than normal. She shuts for a minute when the guitar cranks to life, then joins it again and right away her character has gained a few years. Really ends too fast at 3.5 minutes though, sure would love another minute or 2 with the guitars and softly needing harmonies it sets up. Still, what we’re given we’re jamming with.

The gist of the set is that here’s a woman/girl who’s been preyed upon, who lets herself be seen as such, then easily turns the tables on the attackers once they’re well into view. Musically. She spins a web few can help but trundle on, though backing out once curiosity has been defined, well, that’s another matter. You’re rather stuck ­ to mix metaphors ­ with the stare of the snake. You don’t want to let go of the highly pop/rock sounds, because the melodies are strong, the stories have true rewatchability.

Sometimes Patti will certainly surprise you by the youth of her voice. ‘Eggshells’ could be delivered by a 12 year old who’s belly button was recently discovered by a Sony exec, but the music is as adult and polished as a garaged limo. The jarring difference makes Patti’s performances new elements on the periodic table. The music rocks happiness.

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