While not as widely known throughout the music scene as she is in her hometown of Portland, Corrina Repp has been playing hushed, subdued melodies for a few years. With the release of her second album, It's Only The Future, Repp is taking that step out and trying to stake claim to a piece of the haunting landscape of the new folk.
One thing she already has against her is time. Acts like Cat Power, Gillian Welch, and Cynthia Dall have already laid the groundwork; therefore they already have the seniority. When newcomers try to break into sub-genres like this it's really a 50/50 shot of making a name, or being turned away at the door. There is so much that is new and fresh in listeners' ears to compare your album to; there are already ‘classics' and sounds that define the style. So to come in and make a big splash takes one hell of a record.
…I just don't think Repp has it in her to make that breakthrough album.
The songs on her sophomore album aren't bad per say, but once you get into the meat of the record you just can't help but feel like you've heard this before. You start to predict what will happen next in each song, and start to hear other people's voices singing the same words. It's hushed and reserved with sometimes nothing more than the soft plunking of a guitar and Repp's whisper of a voice. But the melodies don't hook you like those of Chan Marshall's or other downtrodden singers.
For one thing, Repp's voice is not as strong or haunting as the mainstays. For the most part it stays within the same range throughout the album. And I know each singer has his or her range… but this is more like one octave. So, what I'm saying is that it's not very entertaining to listen to.
Her slight and subtle use of electronics on a few tracks does help give it a little bit of a different look. But it's either not used enough or not well enough to really break these songs away from the pack.
It's a nice album; it just fails to break any new ground. It doesn't set Repp apart from the other more established artists already working in this field. It's a good album to have on in the background, maybe even perfect for some small coffee house somewhere. But as far as something worth devoting any time to, it fails to measure up.
- Jake Haselman | 2004-12-06