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Julia Othmer
Oasis Motel
Lunar Cadre

The first thing any listener will notice about Julia Othmer's debut CD, Oasis Motel, is Othmer's voice, which possesses both tenacity and grace, sultriness and innocence. A collection of rock- and blues-imbued pop love songs (with a few tales of lost love thrown in for good measure), Oasis Motel is an intriguing listen, more for the potential Othmer displays as a songwriter and vocalist than for the material presented.

"Canyons" is undoubtedly the highlight of Oasis Motel. A four-and-a-half minute piano ballad, "Canyons" shows the musical and lyrical sophistication of which Othmer is capable. "just because i'd love to doesn't mean i love you/ canyons lie between" she croons in the refrain. "Intention" and "Never Listen" are also enjoyable, up-tempo pop ditties. The former is a moseying blues-infused affair that finds Othmer at her most seductive, proclaiming her sensual intentions toward a possible lover while questioning his. The latter is the album's only truly pop number, a catchy, feel good love song about skirting responsibility in favor of dreams.

Othmer shows a great deal of potential as a songwriter - if not actual chops quite yet - on the desperate "Help Me." The only song on the album not dealing with the ins or outs of a love affair, "Help Me" is the story of a college-educated woman stuck inside her own blues. While Othmer's tender, sweet vocals are irresistible, the lyrics are hit and miss - at times bringing to mind the images of the woman's inner fire, at others coming across as trite. The pop-rock ballad, "The First Day," is equally muddled lyrically - with Othmer struggling amid cliches to express her sense of loss after the death of a lover, while the lyrics to the pool hall love story, "Hold Me," border on maudlin at times, but still show sparks of the fire that Othmer possesses.

All in all, Oasis Motel is full of infection pop melodies, laced with blues, rock, and soul, that signal Julia Othmer's time will soon come.

-Tracy M. Rogers

Track List:
1. Hey, Hey
2. Darling
3. Help Me
4. The First Day
5. Intention
6. Never Listen
7. Hold Me
8. Pull Me Back
9. Canyons
10. Another's Girl

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