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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Review: Christina Grimm - No Time To Be Blue

Christina Grimm - No Time To Be Blue
2008, Christina M. Grimm

Christina Grimm is a classic singer/songwriter in the 1970's style of Carole King and Joni Mitchell. Imbued with passion, personal appeal, humor and life, Grimm is a highly entertaining figure both on stage and on CD. Her latest release, No Time To Be Blue, encompasses the performance spirit and wit of the golden age of singer/songwriters; using pop, folk, rock and blues as backdrops for her intricate and subtle story songs.

Christina Grimm steps right off a 1970's AM radio dial with a singer/songwriter flair that's part Carly Simon, part Christine Lavin and just a little bit of Bonnie Raitt. No Time To Be Blue opens with White Magic which, while well-written, is overly reminiscent of the most syrupy songs of that era. Grimm sets to some sizzle on the title track in blues slow-burner that grabs you by the shirt and shouts, "Listen!” Vegetable Man is something of a love song full of innuendo and wit. It borders a tad on the silly side but is a fun listen. Grimm sets course due Southwest on Come Back To Santa Fe, a mellow country/rocker about life moving on and what is sometimes left in the wake.

Distant Dream is a mournful country ballad about being on the other side of leaving. It's a song not so much of heartbreak but uncertainty and the dimming of hope. True Love Never Dies is a song written for a wedding, perhaps even someone's vows in song. It's sweet, and is likely to get chosen as a wedding song for a lot of couples who might here it, but is also quite ridden with cliché. Perfect Beauty carries a strong message, one that is important to convey, but in this instance the message prevails over the musicality. The result is an awkward lyrical experience where the music sometimes seems forgotten. Dog And Cat Blues finds Grimm regaining her feet in a blues-based tune full of innuendo and some serious guitar work.

Beautiful Soul is perhaps the perfect representation of the mix of Christina Grimm's talent and her most confounding tendency. Grimm has crafted a brilliant composition with a touching, even moving subject. But when it comes to matching lyric to song there is a gap that occurs; an awkward pairing of words and music that becomes distracting. I would guess that Grimm writes the lyrics first and then crafts melodies she's conceived around them, but chooses to be flexible with the music but never the words. It's not the conceptualization that becomes a roadblock but the execution; forcing music around words it just doesn't fit with. I came across this issue several times on No Time To Be Blue, but not in every song; when Grimm lets her hair down, like on the Blues tunes, she really seems to just let everything flow. Even the final song, Your Love Is So Divine seems to meld lyric and song quite nicely.

Vocally, Christina Grimm is a joy to listen to. She has a strong alto voice with great tone and enough personality and energy to hold onto listeners. The songwriting can range from above average to awkward, the latter mostly in the lyrical aspect. No Time To Be Blue reflects Grimm as a solid performer and songwriter who might benefit from working with another lyricist from time to time, but is worth spending some time with in any case.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Christina Grimm at or You can purchase a copy of No Time To Be Blue at

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