For Your Consideration
All music and lyrics by Christina Gaudet. Copyright holder. All rights reserved worldwide, BMI.
Review by 2x Grammy Winner ‘White Sun’
Thank you White Sun, for this lovely review!
Top Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars! A musical journey
By White Sun on September 21, 2016
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Christina is a clever and thought-provoking lyricist, and a bold musician. I enjoyed this offering, Heart On Fire, which is the first of her music I have heard. Throughout the album she sings with an impassioned vibrato that she uses to subtly harmonize with herself on several tracks. Heart On Fire is an extremely “get-up-and-go” song, it is a dance love song and an upbeat ode to new love. Livonlove is lyrical poetry, probably my favorite track on the album with words that would speak to anyone. Electric live is a song that I would like to see Christina perform in person one day…I can just imagine that upbeat ballad played live, in a crowd. Blackberry Pie is a playful summertime jam, with what sounds like disco-inspired instrumentation. Solitude, the last track, begins with an R&B beat under soft silky vocals. The album comes full-circle here, as the listener is now exploring the pain of a lost love as opposed to the first track which amplifies the joy of a loving relationship. The listener really goes on a journey from the first to the last note. Recommended!
Before he passed away, vocalist Christina Gaudet received a gift from her father, an acoustic guitar made of Louisiana Cypress. After losing her father, Gaudet took that thoughtful gift, sat down, and composed ten songs. These ten tracks, which were arranged and then performed with electronic instruments alongside the guitar and vocals, resulted in her latest album, Heart on Fire. Pairing up with long-time producing partner John Zych, Gaudet decided to tone down this release, as compared to her previous records, focusing as she says on “mostly voice, guitar and story.” With such a personal relationship to the guitar used to write these tracks, as well as the lyrical content, it is no wonder that Gaudet gives a highly personal and intense performance throughout this record.
Songs such as the energetic and powerful “My Prayer” feature the guitar up front in the arrangement, as well as keyboard parts which bring to mind the timbre and emotion of the 6-stringed instrument. The harmony and arpeggiated chords work together to frame the melody line in a way that brings out the deep emotion being portrayed by the talented singer. Her lines are strong enough to lift the melody above the accompaniment, but never to the point that she loses connection with the rhythm section. Gaudet’s ability to create emotionally charged vocal melodies, without becoming pitchy or overpowering the instrumental side of the song is one of the main reasons for this track’s success, as well as being indicative of her musicianship throughout the album.
Other tracks such as “Rolls Royce” bring a pop and dance influence to the arrangement. Featuring a house beat, complete with electronic percussion sounds and bass groove, the song might not sound like it was written on an acoustic guitar, but that becomes the point of tracks like these on the record. Though her intent was to work out these songs on the guitar, Gaudet didn’t limit herself to an “unplugged” performance during the recording and arranging process. She let her creativity, alongside that of her business partner and co-producer Zych, to take the acoustic tracks and see where they could take them in respect to the arrangements and instrumentation. No matter what direction Gaudet takes the songs, such as the previously named dance track or the Island inspired “Liveonlove,” what remains is the strong connection that the singer possess to the music and lyrics, as well as the high level of musicianship she exudes with each note and phrase she sings.
“Stay” is a good example of Gaudet bringing the acoustic guitar into a pop-influenced setting, with a Latin-inspired groove and piano feel brought along for good measure. The track features some subtle, yet effective backing vocals that help to thicken up the melody line in just the right moments. Though she is capable of inserting vocal harmonies throughout the record, Gaudet does a good job of holding back, using the background harmonies sparingly, allowing them to stand out and grab the listener’s attention instead of becoming an expectation with each track. Showing this level of attention to detail with the arrangements is a testament to the many years that Gaudet and Zych have worked together, their knowledge of both the technical side of music and the strong points of the vocalist’s abilities, something that is both enjoyed and appreciated by the listener. Overall Heart on Fire is a strong release for Gaudet. Though it may have been written on an acoustic guitar, the vocalist and songwriter allows her pop and other influences to step in, adding multiple timbres, instrumental combinations and creativity to a well-written collection of songs. ~ Reviewed by Matthew Warnock Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
Matt Warnock Genres: Jazz, Rock, Indie, Classical, Blues, Metal, World Music, Country Dr. Matt Warnock is a highly experienced music journalist, educator and performer who has written books for Hal Leonard and Mel Bay, as well as hundreds of articles for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, All About Jazz.com and Modern Guitar Magazine. Currently, he is Editor in Chief for Guitar International Magazine where, beyond his editorial duties, he has interviewed some of the biggest names in the business including Robby Krieger, Ace Frehley, Brian Aubert , George Benson and John Pizzarelli. Matt is also Director of Guitar Studies at Western Illinois University and the Executive Director of the WIU Guitar Festival.
If you are looking for an exact mix of pop coupled with disco plus electronic and alternative with a dash of rock and a bit of a country twang to the voice then Christina Gaudet’s Heart On Fire is the perfect match for you. With her classy style, similar musical sound, and her ability to belt out lyrics, Gaudet is a cross between Stevie Nicks during her solo career and the Caucasian version of Billie Holliday. After putting out her eighth album, Gaudet could be considered a pro by now. Her songs are not over the top, nor are they overtly simple; the songs are a happy medium between the two. Each track utilizes its’ instruments completely, which complements Gaudet’s soft, elaborate voice to a tee. “Heart On Fire,” the album’s title track comes at the very beginning. It begins with a catchy techno beat, and when the words kick in you are immediately transported back to the ‘80s. The song would fit in quite nicely at any classic disco party right in between “Stayin’ Alive” and “Dancing Queen”. As for the meaning, the title is fairly self-explanatory. Gaudet sings, “I was lost and all alone until you came alone, and you set my heart on fire.” The energetic songs do not stop there, however. Though still keeping with the same all around sound of the album, “New You Solution” has more of a funk background melody about it instead of the regular intensely pop sound. She sings of numerous cities that have offered her bright lights and music deals. Along with Gaudet’s catchy beats, she imparts some insightful messages into her lyrics. In this song, she states, “This is my new you solution. Just be who you are. . . You’re gonna be a superstar.” “Stay” is a jazzy, soulful tune that uses not much more than a piano, drums, and a guitar. Gaudet uses the lack of numerous instruments to her advantage by being able to elaborate her voice and each of the instruments in a way that fills the speakers with ample sound. The song follows with the same overall dance theme of the album, but this one sets the mood for a slower song instead of a fast-paced song like most of the others. The buoyancy of the album continues throughout, despite a few other songs. The pep slowly diminishes on the last few songs of the album, however. The last three songs, “Expressions of Myself,” “My Prayer,” and “Solitude” take a turn to expose what Gaudet is able to do with more tranquil, mellow tunes. Gaudet uses a line from a classic prayer, singing, “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take,” but then she continues by adding her own verse, singing, “If I should die before I wake, remember that I will always love you.” “Solitude,” on the other hand is slightly more upbeat than the other two, in melody at least. The lyrics on the other hand are made up predominately of the word “solitude,” and her slow melody tones down the song a bit. There is no single genre that completely fits Christina Gaudet’s musical style. On top of that, her style is rarely created by up and coming artists nowadays; her songs are not entirely of this current music time period, which is what makes her album, Heart On Fire, that much more interesting. ~ Review by: Alec Cunningham Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Alec Cunningham Genres: Alternative, Folk, Rock, Indie, Reggae, and Punk
Alec Cunningham is a journalist and freelance writer from Knoxville, TN. Her passion for music goes back to the early days of her youth. For her, having the chance to interview bands and review their music, along with becoming introduced to new artists, combines the best of the music and writing worlds. She currently works for the Music section of BLANK Newspaper, Knoxville’s longest-running independent publication, writing musician interview articles and album reviews. She also serves as one of the main writers on Exposed, the official blog of Peter Lik, a world renowned landscape photographer.