Nestled somewhere between Shawn Colvin and Heather Nova, singer/songwriter Catie Curtis sings nice melodies on top of some nice grooves. I use the word “nice” more than once here because that’s what I think when listening to Curtis’ latest,
Dreaming in Romance Languages. Curtis has had a lot of success with song placement on television shows and, appropriately, the new record can best be described as background music. It’s jangly and at times radio-friendly, but never seems to go anywhere and won’t inspire anyone to stop what they’re doing and listen.
“Saint Lucy” is the unofficial title track, but certainly not the most memorable one. “Deliver Me” and “Hold On” have a little more substance and some cool arrangements, and the first single, “It’s the Way You Are,” is catchy enough to garner significant radio play in the AAA market. Twangy ballads such as “Cross Over to Me” and “Life Goes On” are pretty enough but tend to drag on. Another bright spot is “Red Light,” an up-tempo shuffle with a chorus you might be singing along to instantly.
There are definitely some cool songs here, but not quite enough to make it better than mediocre. Curtis has a smooth, sensual voice, but not one that really stands out from her peers. In fact, I got tired of listening to it after a while. That said, Curtis must be doing something right, as she’s had a moderately successful career as a touring artist as well as the TV placements. But in my pile of CDs,
Dreaming in Romance Languages is firmly entrenched in the middle.