2009/07/23

CD Review That Won’t Be Published Anywhere But Here

DaGoddess @ 11:33

I wrote this a few months back when I got a preview copy of the disc. I shared the review with only one person. But upon reading it, and after reading one too many “this CD is great!” reviews on other sites, I just gotta post it.

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Hundreds of artists release CDs every month. This is one of them.

For her sophomoric CD, no typo there, Cee Cee James has fallen victim to the problem that plagues too many self-produced albums: the inability to self-edit. You see, this CD is the perfect example of why someone else should oversee a “fair” performer’s work. A good producer will call you on it when you try to throw in everything AND the kitchen sink.

Low Down Where the Snakes Crawl has such potential, but it quickly falls apart halfway through the first song (title track), which, at 8+ minutes long, could use a serious cut in length. Truthfully, I liked the tune until I hit that midpoint and then it became a real battle of self-control to keep from hitting the “Next” button on the stereo. Instead, I did my non-English speaking neighbor’s taxes. Long form. Upon completion of those financials, I continued to struggle against that desire to fast forward. Thankfully, the song ended and I was able to enjoy the second tune “Black Raven”.

Everything after track two is a painful blur. All I could think of was practically any episode of Project Runway and Tim Gunn saying, “that’s a lot of look on that outfit”. Yes, it’s almost as if James is a recent fashion school grad who’s intent on showing off every single trick she learned in school on ONE outfit. The overall effect is too many influences converging into a hodge podge of a gloppy mess. You don’t know where to look, can’t focus on what you’re hearing, nor can you fully appreciate what she’s trying to do because there’s simply way too much going on. That ain’t good. She rambles and roams and warbles and moans a little too long about everything.

Some songs suffer from what appears to be a very conscious effort to be a TV show soundtrack cut. Watered down, listless, and just moody enough to be played in the background while the real action is happening. In fact, I dare say that this is probably the best way to listen to the CD — to actually NOT listen. Or at least not listen too closely. Anything else and you’d find yourself amongst lyrics the likes of which you’re bound to find in the average teenager’s diary.

If you’re a fan of Cee Cee James, this may work for you. If you’re new to te Cee Cee James universe, you may want to see if you can book a return flight to earth poste haste. Really, you don’t want to be stuck here long.

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Please note that I stayed away from the clich├ęd comparison to Janis Joplin (which James — and most female blues artists — painfully strains to make happen). Mostly, I wanted to spare the Joplin legacy.

And there we have it. A CD review that will never be published anywhere but here.

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