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Waves and the Both of Us

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Album Review

On Charlotte Sometimes' self-titled EP, the singer/songwriter gave listeners a tantalizing glimpse of her potential, but there was always the chance that it would take several albums for it to be truly realized. Thankfully, this is not the case. Waves & the Both of Us is a sparkling work that, despite some occasional missteps, truly represents the depth of her considerable talent. Like those on Charlotte Sometimes, the songs on Waves & the Both of Us tend toward the bittersweet, but never the broken. Despite her sweet and sometimes sad delivery, Sometimes presents herself both lyrically and musically as a strong, self-assured woman, a quality that makes her songs lively and passionate no matter what their tempo or subject matter. She especially excels when making the most of her keen sense of melody and penchant for powerful lyrics. Waves & the Both of Us is full of such pieces, but several stand out, including the album's title track (a poignant piece that is delicate and wistful without coming across as overly earnest), "Ex Girlfriend Syndrome" (a playful, sweet song about heartbreak and the need for closure), and "AEIOU" (a sassy diss of a potential suitor). Each of these songs, as well as a number of others, features descriptive lyrics, playful rhythms, and extremely catchy choruses — in other words, the confident, undaunted spirit that informs all of Charlotte Sometimes' music. She does lose some of her effectiveness and charm on a few tracks, especially those that lack melodic hooks; when the melody goes flat on "Toy Soldier" and Sometimes resorts to half-singing, half-speaking the verses, it makes for a song that is disappointingly bland and generic. Though there aren't many songs like this on the album, the rest of Waves & the Both of Us contains so many memorable tunes that those with less lilt stick out by sounding uninspired. There are also some occasions when Sometimes' backing arrangements compete with her for the song's central role — on opening track "Losing Sleep," producers S*A*M & Sluggo should have toned down the loops, keyboards, and drums that threaten to overwhelm the vocalist during the verses. (Fortunately, this is not a consistent trend, as the songs that follow are largely free of the problem.) While the album may not be flawless in its execution, its good points far outweigh the bad and make for a powerful debut that marks Charlotte Sometimes as an artist notable for her talent, unique style, and great promise.


Born: 15 March 1988 in Wall Township, NJ

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

New Jersey native Charlotte Sometimes may not have started as a singer/songwriter, but she's always been a performer. Involved in both dance and musical theater throughout her childhood, Charlotte eventually picked up the guitar when she was 14 and began writing and performing her own compositions. Before graduating high school and moving on to the New School in New York City's Greenwich Village, she had already released several homemade EPs and a live CD. It was during college that Charlotte Sometimes...
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Waves and the Both of Us, Charlotte Sometimes
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