All About You
Record Review by Janelle Finamore
Angela Ortiz is a musical composer and singer who has set a definitive new bar in the eclectic pop circle populated by Tori Amos, Kate Bush, and Emily Bezar. Ortiz has an amazingly pure vocal quality and she is able to flawlessly transition from a theatrical belt to a beautiful round head voice. Her 2006 self-released album entitled All About You is written in a style that may be described as Broadway indie pop. Ortiz attended NYU as a vocal performance major, studying classical voice including opera. Her penchant for songwriting, however, gradually supplanted her initial musical goals, although she never lost her musical roots as evinced by the strong classical background in her work.
The album opens with “Everyone changes,” an upbeat song that flaunts her sharp voice with clear, perfect pitch. Her piano performance is solid as well, heard in the bouncy staccato riff which starts in the beginning and continues throughout the track. “Dustpan” also starts with a catchy piano riff and it is accompanied by sweet warm vocals which are reminiscent of perhaps a Joni Mitchell folk tune. Ortiz’s lyrics in this song are thoughtful and metaphorical as she compares a world to a dustpan. The bridge is an ascending Broadway-esque melody that ends on a sustained vocal.
“Last of Who You Are” includes classical strings that peak after large crescendos as well as vocals that range from dramatic belts to tiny whispers. It is a beautiful ballad painted with images of a “sleepy town on the Pennsylvania border named after a river you never heard of.” “Cheshire Cat,” is a creative tune that allows one to drift off into an Alice in Wonderland fantasy world. The song opens with lyrics: “Tweedlie-dum tweedlie-dee” which are all sung acapella beginning with a single vocal track and eventually building to a lovely three-part harmony. Angela Ortiz’s All About You is just a small taste of what she will bring to the indie piano pop scene. If Tori Amos is the standard that all aspiring female piano pop artists will need to live up to, then Ortiz does not have a problem living up to these standards; in fact, she rises above them.
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