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Katrina Carlson
Kataphonic records

I begin to have doubts about an album that begins with an excerpt from Bizet's operetta Carmen, but has all the graphic qualities of a Shania Twain release. I'm torn on what to expect from that. Whatever I expected is not what I got. Katrina Carlson writes and performs songs that are more pop than anything I've heard in many years; True, honest-to-God, pure to the form, pop music. And amazingly, it is good pop music. At first I was disappointed that I hadn't discovered America's newest country music diva, but that quickly faded into the experience of listening to Untucked. It's a bit more Donna Lewis than it is Madonna, thank goodness.

The songs are built on basic foundations of cleanly produced rhythm tracks and brilliantly arranged electronics (Again, at odds with the artwork). The sound is almost so clean as to be sterile, but there is enough swing and almost imperceptible grit to create a gem of a pop record. "Suddenly Beautiful" is a fast paced girl-power track in the vein of (the beautiful) Meredith Brooks, but laced with lyrical depths that one would not expect from the sugary sound. "I'm a bad girl/ I'm a dirty girl/ Pray my soul to keep/ The spirit is willing but cannot speak." And by now, if you are an AC radio listener you most likely have heard "I Know You By Heart", a fantastic duet with Benny Mardones that has received a bundle of radio airtime. All of the songs on Untucked are full of heartfelt emotion and individual truth, accompanied often by little touches of grace.

Some of the things found on this album are predictable, but not distractingly so. The songs hold up nicely on their own; what they lack in originality they more than make up for in production and integrity. Many of the songs feature themes of Christian faith, making this a fine album to gift your God-fearing friends, while simultaneously gifting them with better music than they may be used to hearing. There is no secret why one of these songs was chosen to be included on Dawson's Creek. Katrina Carlson writes good, substantial songs, and shows herself very capable as a recording artist and singer.

Oh yeah. And she's hot, too.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. intro
2. Suddenly Beautiful
3. Drop
4. Dive
5. New Shoes
6. Breathe Underwater
7. Closer
8. Go-to Girl
9. I Know You By Heart
10. Count On Me
11. Getaway Car
12. Somewhere Over You
13. Blue Streak Cadillac
14. Mother
15. outro


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