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Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Boston based folk-rock singer-songwriter Catie Curtis has been recording for ten years or so and has a dedicated fan base in the US. Her songs have appeared in TV soundtracks and she was awarded the International Songwriting Competition’s Grand Prize for “People Look Around”, a song about Hurricane Katrina, which is on this new album.
Backed by a very impressive line-up of musicians, including guest Mary Chapin-Carpenter on “Water and Stone”, here she has recorded 12 personable songs about life and the environment (California must be special, as it features a few times). She has a sweet, expressive voice with a nice falsetto and her delivery is conversational and intimate. She also plays a mean acoustic guitar – her accompaniment to “Strange” for example is to be envied, it’s very slick.
Emotional longing, politics and reconnection are just some of the themes that run through her work, communicated with down-to-earth poetic imagery. Wit, spirit, sadness, joy and intelligence have free rein, all adorned with a gentle touch.
The recording quality is state of the art – a big clear beautifully engineered sound with precise inner detail that really enhances the well-thought out arrangements. Apparently Catie had a pretty free hand in the technical production so she obviously has a very finely-tuned ear.
All in all not a ground-breaking album, but amiable and nicely crafted, with compelling, positively charged messages.
Compass 74436 2 (Planet Dist.)