3 out of 5
To me this CD appears to fall in the category of typical chick songwriter fare. There really isn't anything to grab me and keep me into a song for very long, even though Stephanie has a very capable voice and the musicianship and production are decent. The music on this CD seems to be more a vehicle for Stephanie's voice than anything that can stand on its own, with the exception of Daniel Rhodes' bass lines who seems the only musician on this CD capable of doing anything more than punching in the clock. Stephanie covers the usual topics of a girl living in the city - love found, lost, he likes me, he likes me not, dolls and pretty much every female songwriter cliche. Her voice is somewhat reminiscent of Alanis Morisette but with a bit more of a folky feel and she commands it well. I think I would've liked this better if it had more of an early 20th Century cabaret band backing her up with some sax, jazz brushes, stand up bass as her voice has a bit of a retro appeal to it.
I think my main beef with "Spark" is the fact that the song-writing is too common to make anything stand out. This is by no means an unpleasant CD to listen to - I am just not really blown away by anything that I've heard here and am not really sure that Stephanie can live up to her own press kit descriptions....well, maybe if paired with the right producer.
Reviewed by: A. Dorian
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