Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Carmen Rasmusen
Nothin' Like The Summer
Lofton Creek Records
www.carmenrasmusen.com


You may remember Carmen Rasmusen from the 2nd season of the American Idol show where she was one of the top 10 finalists along with Josh Gracin, Clay Aiken, and Rubin Studdard. Rasmusen recently released her full length debut album Nothin' Like The Summer on the indie label Lofton Creek Records. She is one of my favorite singers with an upbeat step in her voice and a good balance between delivering an enchanting feminine lilt and a beefy texture in her registers, but the songs on her album don't take advantage of her diversity or her strengths. The songs sound like 80's country selections that would have been typical of Patty Loveless, K.T. Oslin, or Suzy Bogguss back in their heyday. This is not to say that I am knocking down 80's country or these singers, but Carmen Rasmusen can do better than country music that's been done and dated. Loveless has certainly moved with the times, even making songs that have more in common with the new grass generation than with classic bluegrass, so for Rasmusen to sing songs that sound like they were around the year she was born, 1985, simply makes her a chanteuse, which does not do her singing justice.

From the beginning of the album, you can pick up that Rasmusen has a pleasant style similar to Lila McCann but with a different cachet. She has a tote full of cheerful country-pop melodies like "Happy," "Stranded," "Love Will Wait," Shine," and "Your Love," which are feel good vibed tunes that you can sing along to with a youthful sprint in your voice. The toe-tapping honky-tonk grooves of "Spend That Money" are infectious in a classic 80's country type of way. That continuous theme of classic 80's country tunage has similarities to Shania Twain's self-titled album which was her first country effort before joining forces with her producer Mutt Lange who stepped into the picture and gave her music a kick start. Like Twain, Rasmusen's record does show jolts of rock-tinged country in "You Scare Me To Death" and sprinkles of catchy pop hooks on "Nothin' Like The Summer," but her lyrics posses a generic meaning to them like in "Nothin' Like The Summer" when she muses, "I love those summer days drifting on by like a slow parade and everything feels fine in the warm sunshine."

Rasmusen's debut album has a nice country pleasantry but is deficient in showing Rasmusen as anything more than a chanteuse. She should be on radio stations alongside Colbie Caillat, Taylor Swift, and Lindsey Haun, but the music dictates that she belongs with Crystal Gayle and Trisha Yearwood. That is not to say that Gayle or Yearwood are bad company to be in, not at all, but it makes Rasmusen already dated when she never got a chance to be fresh sounding and innovative. If this was the '80s, her album would be those things, but it's not and artists like Patty Loveless know it is not the '80s which is why when you hear Loveless today play her songs of yesteryear, they sound new. That is something which Rasmusen's album does not have - something new and fresh.

-Susan Frances


Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!

 


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.