CD REVIEW: Charlie Dane - Dreamland (2011)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"artist to watch in 2012"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Charlie Dane
Genre: Rock, Pop
Sounds Like: Pixie Lott, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne
Technical Grade: 7/10
Amateurish Mix, Marketability (due to mix)
Oyster Bay, NY. Based Singer-Songwriter Charlie Dane just released her latest CD entitled Dreamland (2011) Reading her bio I Was quite impressed to read this artists is just 13 years old. Equally as impressive is she’s been playing and performing since the age of 5 playing music festivals such as South By Southwest, Gathering Of The Vibes, Great South Bay Music Festival, Equifunk, the 27 and 28th annual Oyster Festivals as well as for Camps R Us and Girl Scout Summer Camps.
The CD kicks things off with the title track “Dreamland” a dynamic yet catchy intro piece that serves up catchy pop melody against driving rock rhythm, rocking guitar and passionate vocal delivery from Dane. Track 2 “Past the Point” serves up a slow moving rock ditty with impressive lyrical content, earth acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocals making for an impressive follow up groove. Track 3 “Back in Time” shifts gears a bit with slow moving acoustic guitar groove that combines the perfect balance of rock, folk and pop with impressive musical build and a grand slam chorus. The CD gets off the ground solidly serving up 3 hot tracks in a row. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic musical acts as Pixie Lott, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, and Selena Gomez. The music itself combines classic elements of catchy power pop, rock with an aftertaste of alternative rock. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from solid rhythm section, strings, sizzling solo guitar, Impressive slide and rhythm guitar and lush harmonies layered everywhere. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing impressive songwriting, world class instrumentation via an impressive vocal delivery from Dane. Now zeroing in now on Dane’s voice: it goes down smooth and has a crystal clear vibrato. She's got mojo and makes the vital (singer to listener) emotional connection with her vocals and faintly innocent charisma. If she just so happened to write all these songs well she could be bigger than any of us realize at the moment. From rocking “Tuesdays’ Just as Bad” and to melodic “Outside the Box” to heartfelt “All I Know” and “Soaring” to upbeat “Once in a While” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “98” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Despite the amazing songs and performances - it’s fair to say this is a very bright, in your face mix job. These types of mixes are becoming more and more prevalent and are really designed to maximize radio marketability. However at the end of the day this production lacks bottom end punch and low end frequency. The mix – though effective is a bit amateurish overall lacking in continuity and vivid depth. The mix will always be the big make or break for any artist out there and the bar is set really high for Independent Artists like Dane when compared to other world class productions within the genera. At the end of the day this CD has a lackluster Production quality that rears it's ugly head when played of high-end stereo systems. Some of this does have an impact on the CD's overall marketability.
Dreamland from Charlie Dane showcases a fresh up and coming talent from New York and she is an artist to watch in 2012. It's an impressive catalogue of music that's easy to groove to, highly original, uplifting and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t a weak piece on this entire 10 song catalogue. All pieces are short and sweet musical experiences, each one possessing its own signature groove and musical personality to call its own. The writing and playing abilities of Dane and her band are rock solid and the melodies and harmonies are well crafted and catchy. Last but not least the vocal presence from Charlie Dane is simply infectious. It’s obvious she’s just letting all hang out musically by being herself. At the ripe young age of 13 there's no way people can't like her - just the way I did.