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Keyboard-centric singer-songwriter oozes intelligence with a voice that is confident and assured. A thoughtful, pensive artist, her “Gasoline,” “Banging Away” and “Ghost boy” has intriguing wordplay as well as a dark undertone, which is consistently compelling. Production is understated yet effective, with expert vocal doubling at times. From Harris’ rich vocal tones to the deft touches in the tracks (oboe, marimba) it’s the kind of smart, somber pop music that fans of Aimee Mann and Meiko would easily embrace.
If you're a fan of pop of any form, going to this is a show will make you're month. Not to sound clichéd but Cristina Harris makes music that warms you up. Her lyrics build up amazing stories that encase you in your own little world for the four odd minutes you're listening to them. Her voice also brings a sense of genuineness, a sense that she sincerely connects to the themes and topics being melodically drawn out.
Cristina Harris made me eat crow. This New Haven-based pop songstress pulled a Kanye and bailed on her stuffy master’s program in order to get out and rock. She played this past Saturday at Cheshire’s Funky Monkey Café & Gallery, an upscale coffee-and-booze space. Her cover of “Tempted” was impressive—it’s a vocally demanding song, with its frequent shifts from major to minor key, and Harris handled the twists and turns well. And “It’s Too Late” gave me shivers; sad and simple, her rendition has been stuck in my head for days now. But it’s Harris’ originals that won me over for good. She dabbles in rich instrumentation and her performance proved to be both innovative and intriguing.
It’s the kind of demo you wish was an album: four pop tracks, impeccably produced by Stephen Harris. Together, the two make a subtle union of misery and sunshine, of bitterness and fun. Harris’ lyrics are full of erudite, wink-and-a-stab wit as: “you’re always better retrospectively,” she sings on “Contemptuous Moon.” But the real killer track is the morose, dour “Ghost Boy,” which is driven forward with torturous resolve by organ and simple guitar lick. Harris sings of revelations and happiness as though they were mere speed bumps. Meanwhile, her piano playing is meshed into the song arrangements so that they remain slick and flawless. It has the interesting effect of casting Harris as a chanteuse, rather than a stereotypical piano-bench-riding sad girl. The disc cleverly skirts being an emo sob-fest, and instead is an invitation to relish the paradoxical joy of wallowing.
“Her material has a haunting quality to it, yet maintains an element of undeniable catchiness. Her piano driven work shows a great deal of maturity with songs of substance-similar in vain to the work of Aimee Mann or Ben Folds.”