Charlene Lite
"Charlene Lite"

(Self-Released 2003)Charlene Lite - Charlene Lite

Although Charlene Lite, judging by her album cover, may look like Sheryl Crow do not think that means she sounds like her. Lite's voice is strong with operatic hints, unlike Crow's rock meets pop sound. The focus of Lite self-titled EP is her voice, not the instrumentation. But while at least the instruments are live and not canned, your full attention is put on her vocals. That is a lot of pressure and Lite does her best.

Lite opens her EP with the up beat and not half bad "Shades of Gray," the obvious choice for a single. "Still Me," a slow ballad with Lite showcasing her vocalizing without overdoing it while the less quiet ballad "I Want You (Stay)" offers a bit more power follows in an adult contemporary style. The two ballads, so close in style, almost run together being put back to back but, given the four tracks, it was really the only choice. The album's closer, "Break Me" is the EP's slightly angry, slightly bitter song of girl empowerment. "You decide I need to make some changes/Lose some weight and grab an identity/I won't apologize for being shapely," Lite sings on the up tempo and occasionally catchy song.

With a significant vocal range, Lite has her choice of directions to take her music. The only major problem with this EP, as with most since the tracks are few, is that these particular tracks do not show a wide range. These songs tend to be somewhat cliché in style, tone and message and not unlike what other female singer/songwriters are doing. With that said, Lite still makes the most of what she has and the songs have endearing qualities.


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