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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Porcelain Cameo - What You Are

Porcelain Cameo - What You Are
2010, Belardinelli/Hanson

Porcelain Cameo is the nom-de-guerre of 17-year old vocalist Amanda Belardinelli, a vocal phenom fron Brantford, Ontario with a voice you can’t ignore. It’s also the name of her band. After winning multiple awards for her singing in 2009, Belardinelli set out to craft her own sound in 2010 with the help of co-writer/producer Michael Hanson (Glass Tiger). The first documented result of this pairing is Porcelain Cameo’s debut EP, What You Are.

What You Are opens with the title track, a solid does of sharp, edgy alt-rock with the right mix of hooks and relationship-inspired anger to be a hit. The energy and pop sensibility that Porcelain Cameo infuses the song with are impressive and make the song radio ready. "Hazy" is flat out great songwriting; tuneful with a melancholic feel. It's a song about not being able to divine the direction of a relationship and the feelings this can cause. Belardinelli’s voice here is a pristine alto with warm qualities that you could sit and listen to all day. "What About The Time" fights back against being shown the door in a relationship, recalling all of the wonderful memories to the one who just cut her loose and asking, in essence, if he's sure he wants to do this. The note sent with the email indicates that Porcelain Cameo intends to cut this song from the commercial release of the EP and replace it with another song to keep the EP more consistent. Big Mistake. First off, the sound through the EP as constituted isn't consistent even if "What About The Time" is excised, and secondly it's the sort of song that earns an artist name recognition.

"Beautiful Garbage" is another winner, leaning more towards an alt-rock sound. The song is edgy, full of attitude and anger, and has a driven pop sense that will make it very appealing to Alternative and Pop radio. It's another tune you won't be able to get out of your head. What You Are closes with "Push", a song written from the nether lands of relationship limbo where one party leaves the other twisting in the wind. Porcelain Cameo stands strong, unwilling to stand for such treatment in a folk/rock anti-ballad worth giving a listen or three too.

What You Are is the sort of EP that turns a local band into a regional one; a regional band into a national one. While a commercial release isn't expected until the waning months of 2010, this particular version has been available at the band's shows in and around Toronto. If Porcelain Cameo follows through with their intent to cut "What About The Time" then this EP will be the hottest Porcelain Cameo collectable going. There's no doubt that Amanda Belardinelli has the songwriting ability, persona and voice to make it big. The music business is capricious, and you never know which way a given ball will bounce, but What You Are deserves the sort of fawning attention radio usually reserves for major label artists. Porcelain Cameo has something special going on, and What You Are is a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Porcelain Cameo at or  The release of What You Are is forthcoming, but you can check out the songs at Porcelain Cameo's MySpace page.

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