The first time I heard Christina Martin, I was browsing through the local record shop. I hung out around longer than I intended to just to hear more and hopefully figure out the person behind the voice. Luckily, Shazam was able to capture enough to tell me the singer, the song and the album. Soon after, Sleeping With A Stranger was mine to hold and listen to, allowing me to recreate the experience again and again.
Fast forward three years, Christina has a new record out. It’ll Be Alright comes from a more vulnerable place, even with the music showing more confidence. But the same voice is there. Sultry, velvety, entrancing.
Musically, the record plays it safe. Despite being her first venture out of her alt-country comfort zone into the realm of pop/rock with guitars aplenty, Christina sticks to familiar structure, lacking adventure in what could have been an opportunity at carving her own place with this sound. The presence of sharp melodies are outnumbered by those that simply exist to carry one song toward the next.
With that said, you can still get lost in them. Her voice on tracks like I’ve Got A Gun and You Ran From Me would have captured my attention in much the same way it did on that fateful day three years ago.
There are some vocalists whose voices have the power to stop me every time, whether it’s with a song I’ve heard many times before or one I’m hearing for the first time. Dolly Parton. Tracy Chapman. Beth Hart. They always have it. On It’ll Be Alright, I’m confident to add Christina to that list. Where some artists rely on melody or production to get by, Christina succeeds simply by singing. And with this record, that’s more than enough.
1. It’ll Be Alright
2. Reaching Out
3. I’ve Got A Gun
5. Puppet Museum
6. You Ran From Me
7. Take Me Back In A Dream
8. You Don’t Have To Leave Tonight
9. Things You Can’t Tell By Looking Her Way
10. Somewhere With You