Charlotte Sometimes
Waves And The Both Of Us



by Mikesn EMERITUS
June 26th, 2008 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Waves and the Both of Us is a great, albeit safe record.

"It’s about all the different waves that live inside my head and heart, and how they affect others, myself, and the person I want or pretend to be."- Charlotte Sometimes on Waves and the Both of Us.

If such is the case with Charlotte Sometimes' (real name Jessie Poland) debut album, then one would have to be forgiven for assuming the twenty year old singer-songwriter to be just a tad bit angry or bitter. This is mostly due to the dark, oft scornful lyrical imagery which pervades through the forty minute album, and makes up the majority of Sometimes' message. All this is veiled under Waves and the Both of Us' largely bouncy, yet passionate sound, which takes Fiona Apple influenced singer-songwriter pop and layers it with catchy dance beats. Though this isn't all that unique, Charlotte Sometimes' song writing talents make Waves and the Both of Us a treat to listen to.

One of Sometimes' greatest assets lies in her distinct vocal charm. Her performances range from soaring and confident to sensual and even vulnerable, depending on the tone of the song, yet her delivery conveys powerful emotions consistently throughout the album, no matter what the mood. Charlotte's backing band gives her a lot of room, and strangely feels almost non-existent, though that isn't really a problem as she's the force behind the album. Even slightly awkward melodies, such as the main acoustic guitar riff in "Losing Sleep" for example, are less noticeable then they would otherwise be. That isn't to say that Sometimes has to make up for writing miscues often; rather, it's more of a testament to her vocal ability.

Even with the somewhat lacklustre melody, "Losing Sleep" opens the album up on a fairly decent note. Waves and the Both of Us steps it up to the next level with lead single, "How I Could Just Kill a Man", a brief number primed for the radio. Also featured on Charlotte Sometimes' self-titled EP, the song is a morose tale of lost love in which Sometimes broods through each contemplative verse before letting it all out during regret fuelled chorus. The title track and "Sweet Valium High" – both of which can be heard on the aforementioned EP – follow in similar suit, though "Waves and the Both of Us" is does a better job of hiding Sometimes" insecurities than the other two. The record is shaken up with "AEIOU", a scathing mid-paced track which strips the instrumentation down to Poland's vocals and catchy beats. The song relies almost exclusively on the half-spoken/half-sung vocal lines, yet manages to come away as one of Waves and the Both of Us' most memorable songs. "Toy Soldier" gives listeners the best of both worlds, taking the half-spoken/half-sung singing style and backing it up with gentle piano melodies, making for one of Waves and the Both of Us' stronger moments.

Waves and the Both of Us slows down dramatically upon its close. "In Your Apartment", a wistful ballad, and "Build Me the Moon" see Sometimes forego her dance beats completely, and are some of her more heartfelt songs. The latter song, along with album closer "Pilot" aren't nearly as accessible as earlier songs, and aren't quite as easy to digest as result. But they offer a softer, warmer foil to Poland's song writing, and it's a direction I'd be interested in hearing her explore a little more in the future.

As it stands, Waves and the Both of Us is a great, albeit safe record. Though its execution isn't perfect – nothing major, just a few mishaps and weak melodies here and there – Charlotte Sometimes' debut album is both cohesive and entertaining, while managing to showcase her talents quite well. It would just be nice to see her take some more risks with her music, as her efforts on Waves and the Best of Us suggest the possibility of big things from the young singer-songwriter.

Recent reviews by this author
Funeral for a Friend ConduitPropagandhi Failed States
Tycho DiveMegadeth Th1rt3en
Fair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsArch Enemy Khaos Legions
user ratings (19)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 26th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

Ahh man, I just read about this the other day but promptly lost the name after many failed attempts to retrieve it. Nice review and happy leif erickson day with a big 200. I'm finding this now.

June 26th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

I've been sitting on this for a couple days, so eh...

o ya and 200th, thanks Balls. Check this out, you'd like itThis Message Edited On 06.26.08

June 26th 2008


How I Could Just Kill a Man... is this a rendition of the Cypress Hill song, or her own idea?

June 27th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

A line in the chorus references the Cypress Hill song, I believe.

June 27th 2008


Good review and congrats on the 200. Probably not something I'd get into though.

June 27th 2008


Congrats on the 200! I saw her play with We The Kings and Valencia in April. My friends that were there liked her live more than I did but I might give this a listen.

Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2008


A huge congrats on reaching your 200th review Mike. It is an achievment to be proud of.
Good review here... Up to your usual quality. Any idea on why she calls herself Charlotte Sometimes...???

June 29th 2008


Happy 200th review!

dub sean
June 30th 2008


Dayummmmmmmmm son, 200.
What's your secret?

December 31st 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

You were right Mike, I do like this. Her voice reminds me of some one but I cant place my finger on it.

January 1st 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

she has an amazing voice

her and Adele are great

January 3rd 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Agree. Love this lady.ROAR!!!!

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy