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Why Carina Round Should Own You

By Marie Lasferatu, at somethoughtsonthings.blogspot.comThe best musical discoveries are accidents. You catch a song on the radio one morning, and the rest of the day it’s all you can think about. Or perhaps by some horrific chance you are forced to watch MTV for longer than .234 seconds and you see something you actually enjoy and must know where you can find more. Or better yet, you’re flipping through the used CD bin at one of the last great record stores in the state and you see an album cover that speaks to you. Now, it’s quite rare these days that any album cover is worth looking at for longer than it takes to read the title, but now and then some kind of magic does happen.In this last great record store, you happen upon a disc that is consumed by a woman’s face. She is at first a seemingly standard looking pale and curly haired songstress, but something about the way she’s looking at you through the cheap plastic of the CD case hooks you and stills your rapid-fire hand. Her defiant yet calm expression directs your eyes to her name, Carina Round. Because in the past you have purchased unknown discs on a whim and been sorely disappointed, you lose your nerve a moment and slip her album back into oblivion. But as you do this, a sticker with a glowing review stays your hand: “The best album of the year, hands down.” Well, your brain tells you, how bad could it possibly be? Discovering Carina Round, one of the best secrets around, only cost me $4.99.Because musical tastes are varied, I may not sway some by merely stating that Round’s sound is simply awesome. In general, lazy journalists compare her to PJ Harvey, which is code for “awesome guitar-based rock female vocalist.” If I had to hold someone’s hand and compare this particular songstress, I’d say she leans more toward the Patti Smith end of the spectrum, with a healthy dash of Jeff Buckley and bad assness.The more I hear and the more I read about this woman, it is clear that she’s just a badass bitch. But none of y’all know it. Normally, I’m all for being a pretentious, secretive music snob, but when I hear that this woman is hand-making CDs and selling them on Ebay so she can get her guitar fixed despite the fact that she is signed to a major label (a certain label who delayed her third album for over a year without cause), it is clear that it would be beneficial to her creativity if a healthy amount of musically inclined folks were clued in. One thing is clear; Carina Round’s record company has no idea what to do with her. Alleged singles have come and gone with nary a radio debut or three song promo. She has in some measure or another unleashed several videos for songs on her new record, but only on her myspace page. Such goodies are fantastic for die-hard fans like me, but it’s hardly conducive to an artist trying to make herself known in the world to people who aren’t actively looking.This is me clueing you in. If you enjoy talent, you will enjoy Carina Round. You don’t need a bio, you need album titles. I would recommend starting with her second album The DisconnectionFirst Blood Mystery (2001), is also wonderful, but hardly a carbon copy (talented people tend to do that, make albums that sound different). (2004). This is the album I was lucky enough to stumble upon. I feel it is a good representation of her true sound. Her first album, It’s a bit more stripped down, and the content is not unlike witnessing a person with their chest sliced open and quite willingly allowing everyone to stare. It’s a difficult introduction, but once you dive in it’s pure bliss. The Disconnection, while maintaining her radiantly intelligent and poetic writing style, exhibits more optimism and more rock n’ roll. Make no mistake, Carina Round can rock out. Her recently released and no less enjoyable album Slow Motion Addict (2007) ups the squeal factor, which is a plus. I have recently begun to believe that she secretly listens to death metal, which is awesome. It is difficult, however, to get over the fact that Glen Ballard, of Alanis Morissette- Jagged Little Pill fame, co-produced this new endeavor. While I do not feel that he obviously altered Round’s style, I can’t shake the feeling that she would have left things a lot less smooth. It’s hard not to picture the one company meeting where they actually took the time to give a shit about her, and some Simple Life watching leech suggested they get the one producer who can make women marketable. But Slow Motion Addict ain’t no top 40 record, and ultimately, if her success keeps mounting as steadily as it has been Addict will be many a person’s actual introduction to this wonderful Brit. Hell, it’s probably the only album you can physically find at the record store at this point.I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but I would bet my life that seeing Carina Round live would be the ultimate introduction, and I greatly envy all those Los Angeles residents who have had her all to themselves for the past year or so. Now it seems that they will have to share, as she is embarking on a semi-national tour with The Cinematics (they’re Scottish!). Carina Round on the road will be unstoppable, she will outshine the bands/performers she opens for because she is true fire and release on stage. Youtube her, Google her, whatever. If you don’t agree with me, you are dead inside. Sorry to be the first one to tell you.

"Why Carina Round Should Own You" was published on August 9th, 2007 and is listed in Live Reviews.

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