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Thursday, July 31, 2008

CD Review: Carol Martini - The Rose In The Boxcar

Carol Martini - The Rose In The Boxcar
2005, Carol Martini

Carol Martini has been playing music since she was 11 years old, and continues to play weekly a coffee houses, college campuses, etc. The Rose In The Boxcar is her fourth album, and is a loving dedication to her father. The album requires a careful listen.

This is an album I have very mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's a very honest and open album. The songs are straight from Martini's heart and raw. There's no artifice or pulled punches in her songs. This is refreshing in some respects, but the lyrics on The Rose In The Boxcar lack subtlety or panache. Some of the songs here have wonderful sentiment, but the lyrics border on annoying. A prime example is Bless This Heart, which should be a wonderful tribute to a Dad, but instead becomes difficult to listen to because of the lyrics.

Martini does find her voice on Never Going To Say Goodbye, which shows a somewhat more reserved and poetic approach to writing for most of the song. The other thing that detracts from the recording somewhat are vocal pitch problems that show up periodically from Martini. While this may be more authentic, it is not the sort of thing one expects on a professionally recorded finished CD. The other song highlight is A Storm Is In The Air, which is a plus song.

If you are into campfire folk music, or open-mike night burgeoning songwriters, then The Rose In The Boxcar might pique your interest. The emotional honesty and lack of pretension here will be refreshing to some, but for most readers it will be a pass. Carol Martini displays tremendous heart in this recording, and has a keen sense of good subject matter for her songs. Some lyrical refinement and additional time in front of audiences may help her to become a more well-rounded songwriter in the long run. There are flashes of humor here that suggest she might have the potential to be a Christine Lavin-like songwriter, but not yet.

Rating: 1.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Carol Martini at You can purchase a copy of The Rose In The Boxcar at

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