CD REVIEW: Dwayna Litz - I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"Litz soothes the soul"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Label: Independent Artist
Singer/Songwriter, Soul, Americana
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Short Sided CD
(NEW YORK) Dwayna Litz is a singer and songwriter with music published by Universal Music, Spirit Music and her own ASCAP publishing company Litz Music in NYC. Dwayna Litz CDs are available at Tower, Best Buy, Kmart, Target, CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. Dwayna Litz had her first cut as songwriter with “Let Me Be There for You” (co-written with Jayne Olderman) and recorded on Patti LaBelle’s Grammy nominated “Flame” CD. Dwayna’s music video “Satisfy My Soul” was featured on Music Dish in 2012 from her Jazz CD “Counting Your Blessings.” This latest CD from Dwayna Litz “I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again” is refreshing. It has original songs reminiscent of the country/rock/bluegrass LA-Sound-of-the-70s with songs written similar to the style of early Linda Ronstadt but with a contemporary surprise like Norah Jones. Recorded in the top studios of NYC and Nashville, Dwayna has a sound all her own. There are elements of pop, country, R&B and bluegrass in this soulful compilation entitled “I’m the Girl I Used to Know Again.”
The CD takes flight with inviting” Yes I Would” a invigorating ditty with methodical intro that serves up impassioned vocal feel from Litz with impressive vocal harmonies, melodic musical touches against a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Cry Like a Baby” downshifts a bit with its methodical piano driven intro eventually lending itself into an impressive “Gold Standard” ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Place in the Road” keeps thing moving in the right direction with its infectious melody, steady flowing rhythm, impressive harmonica accents and a good heartfelt/thought provoking message. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music as Singer/Songwriter, R&B, with a dash of Classic Pop and Soul. Also present are unique elements of what I would call Jazzy Pop and Americana. All in all the CD touches a wide range of musical styles. Besides the four piece standard you will notice impressive instrumentation with things like impressive strings, rhythm guitar, impressive Acoustic guitar and solo guitar licks, Piano, Viola, Cello, Fiddle, Harmonica, Organ, Horns, sporadic keyboard and synth accents, well-placed harmonies, dynamic electronic based drums all built upon a solid moog driven rhythm section to boot. The musicianship and vocal touches from Litz are clearly above the bar. As for her vocal abilities, it works extremely well within the confines of this catalogue. She’s got a good look, a catchy mystique and knows how to sit deep within the pocket and sing a song with amazing vocal fluidity. Litz has an appealing visual, strong likeability factor and soul. Her voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a crystal clear vibrato. She’s got a good vibrato and impressive Mezzo Soprano. Vocally and musically she reminds me of Twila Paris, Margret Becker, Susan Ashton, Deanna Carter, Kelly Clarkston, Dolly Parton, Celine Dion and Any Grant. Litz showcases an impressive falsetto and has much to offer insofar as power, control and finesse. As a songwriter: the songwriting consistent and rock solid across the board. The harmonies and melodies are well placed and well crafted. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering) as the CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. This 10 track offering from Litz is rock solid and delivers everything you would expect from a top-tiered musical Production such as this providing much in the way of musical variety and melodic layering. It definitely offers has a lot of musical depth and variety within the sonic space. All songs are well crafted and consistent across the board. From inspiring “All Because of You” to melodic “I’ve Got a Feelin’ About You” to impassioned “Takin’ it a Day at a Time” and “All I Meant to Say” to the heartfelt title track and powerful “I forgive You” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “This Train is Bound for Glory” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this and totally rocks the house.
CD is a bit short with just 10 Tracks. Perhaps 2-3 more songs are needed to make this a fully loaded release. The overall mix though adequate is overly sonic and bit heavy on the reverb side. The mix on Tack 10 “This Train is Bound for Glory” sounds a bit different than the other songs. I like it the most because the mix to me sounds more “warm” and less echoey'. As a result all the performances on the track including the vocals sound more up close and personal to me than the others.
From start to finish “I’m The Girl I Used to Know Again” by Dwayna Litz soothes the soul and delivers pure Americana Soul and is a fully loaded 10 Track release from start to finish. The music is diverse, grooving, upbeat, soulful and sonically entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Overall this latest release is clearly the best Dwayna Litz yet. The writing and singing abilities of Litz are impressive and leave a lasting impression. Her overall persona and mainstream mystique is something millions of people should gravitate towards no doubt. Cyrus Rhodes