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CD REVIEW: Raina Krangle - Solstice
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/16/2012 - 04:17 PM EDT

Artist: Raina Krangle
Album: Solstice
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Blues/Rock
Sounds Like: Cheryl Crowe, Bonnie Rait, Jos Stone, Janis Joplin
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: It Don’t Worry Me, Psychology Woman, Jagged Edges
Weakness: Dated Mix/Production Value
CD Review: Toronto based Singer/Songwriter Raina Krangle just released her latest CD entitled "Solstice" in 2012. Reading from her bio: A singer-songwriter for over 20 years, Raina is a self-taught musician with a fresh folk-rock vibe. The soon to be released CD is a compilation of her songs over the last 20 years. Raina has heartfelt lyrics and a soulful voice that soothes your ears and makes you want to keep listening. Stay tuned for her new release- Solstice.

The CD quickly takes flight with “Needle in the Hay” a perfect rocking intro groove that serves inviting vocals against slamming Americana-Rock fretwork, full-tilt rhythm section against a mesmerizing vocal front from Krangle. Track 2 “Sunset" presents a grooving follow-up piece that serves up slamming rock rhythm, rich melody against a grand slam chorus. This piece flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition making for an impressive follow-up statement.  Track 3 “It Don’t Worry Me” my personal favorite serves thought impressive psychedelic vibe, impressive guitar ambiance against hypnotic vocal groove from Krangle. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear the musicianship from everyone involved is clearly above the bar with impressive bass lines, slamming solos, well placed strings, piano, impressive vocal harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Song for song the effective combination of Krangle’s voice, world class songwriting and top flight musicianship it’s never called into question. Now turning our attention over to Krangle. As for her vocal abilities - she is quite impressive indeed. Her musical/vocal style is cut from the cloth of Cheryl Crow, Bonnie Rait, Janis Joplin and even Jos Stone or Natalie Merchant - but I will add she can go toe to toe with any one of them vocally. Krangle showcases a crystal clear vibrato, with an appealing mezzo-soprano persona. All of this makes for a strong and confident vocal ability across the board. I could listen to her sing all day. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. This latest CD from Krangle delivers 13 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating. From heartfelt “Always” and “Arms Around Me” to jumping “Other Half” to melodic “Sunny Day” and Each day” and grooving “Psychology Woman” to rocking “Customer Service” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 13 “You’ll Come Around” the perfect wrap for a catalog like this  

It’s fair to say the overall mix and production value sounds a bit dated when compared to other Gold Standard musical releases within the genera. I didn’t see a Mastering Engineer mentioned in the liner notes. However I will add this approach works well within the confines of this Psychedelic Rock catalog. Perhaps that’s what the production team was shooting for - so it is goes virtually unnoticed.  

I like everything about Raina Krangle. She's truly an infectious artist that possess a "Gold Standard" voice, look, songwriting, appeal, talent, vocal passion and overall artistic presence. She also is a very impressive songwriter and singer.  From start to finish “Solstice” is an impressive catalog of music. The music is warm, marketable, uplifting and very passionate. The pin drop moments are amazing, and her falsetto is to die for. The songwriting is an interesting snapshot of music from a clairvoyant artist from Canada that has the courage to not give up on her dreams throughout the tears and the years. Make no bones about it - this gal has got some fight in her and she possesses a heart of gold. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalog is extremely likeable very much like the artist herself.

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