CD Review: Carla and Curtis “Partake”

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Music
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Carla and CurtisWhen you take two different artists from different backgrounds and put them together to create something new, the results can either be good or bad. In the case of solo artists Carla Lynne Hall and Curtis Becraft (known together as Carla and Curtis), the results from their collaboration on their new release entitled Partake are obvious as the two artists combine their different backgrounds and musical tastes into one sound.

The reason that the sound continuously changes from song to song is because the two artists take turns as the head writer of the track. The tracks for the album come from albums already created by Curtis and Carla. When the two came together as one unit, the sound from each artist helped to create an interesting comparison to the other’s music. With two different sounds and feels going through the body of the release, Partake from Curtis and Carla continuously changes and that allows for a very fascinating and interesting release that will capture a lot of people’s attention.

Partake from Curtis and Carla begins with the album’s title track that was penned by Curtis Becraft. “Partake” is a song that has many facets to it. The song features a large amount of rock essence to it while also incorporating some R&B influence into the music and even Country influence in the form of twang on the lead guitar on the track, as well. The track has a strong drive to it because of the strong bass and drums that help lead the listener into the track. The saxophone on the song even adds more depth to the track.

With the track of “Supernova” from Carla Lynne Hall, the album takes on a very “pop-ish” feel to it. The track has a great hook and feels like something that could have been created by Macy Gray. The vocals from Carla are clear and bright while the music on the track feels as if it had been produced by a major record label. Having been written by Carla Lynne Hall and performed and produced by Christian Cassan, the song could absolutely find its way onto Top 40 radio.

While the track “Supernova” sounds as if it would belong alongside with songs from Macy Gray, the song “Crosstown Bus” from Curtis Becraft features a Lite Rock sound in the music that would have fit in with Top 40 songs that were on the radio back in the 70s. You can just imagine “Crosstown Bus” being played on the on an Adult Contemporary radio format before or after songs like “Tequila Sunrise” from The Eagles.

As the feel of Partake from Curtis and Carla changes from track to track, the song “Say Goodbye” from Carla features a very strong Funk vibe to it. The song helps to bring the two most important participants in the creation of Carla’s music to the forefront: Multi-instrumentalist and Producer Christian Cassan and Carla Lynne Hall herself. As the song was written by Lynne, you get to experience the writing and musical talent of Lynne as she performs the song with a lot of energy. While Christian Cassan helped bring out the best sound on the release as producer, he also added a lot to the music itself as he played many of the musical parts himself. With “Say Goodbye,” Cassan provided all of the music to the track and gave Carla Lynne the perfect musical backdrop on which to sing. Together, Christian Cassan and Carla Lynn create a song with a lot of style and power.

While the majority of Partake from Curtis and Carla finds the two personalities providing their own tracks for most of the release, they end up coming together near the end of the release and provide the listener with two live tracks (one original and one cover tune) of the two performing as one entity under the moniker of Curtis and Carla.

The first live track from Curtis and Carla is the original track of “It’s Good to Be Bad,” a song penned by Curtis Becraft. “It’s Good to Be Bad” features the guitar of Curtis Becraft and the duet vocals of Curtis and Carla. The song features a great sense of humor and is rather amusing.

The second live track from the duo on the album is Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough”. The track features Curtis on mandolin and Carla on lead vocals. The track allows to listener to hear the beautiful vocals from Carla without them being buried by a lot of other instruments. The single mandolin from Curtis Becraft, as well as his backing vocals, provides just enough music to make the track interesting to listen to.

The Partake release from Curtis and Carla is a release that provides the listener with two different sounds from two different artists at the same time. And while that could be a bad thing sometimes, the combination of the two artists does create a very unique and enjoyable listening experience. Several of the songs on the release are strong enough on their own to make the release with the purchase price, but the whole album is worth listening to.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** (five stars)

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