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A pop nugget

Eighth Notes
Eighth Notes
By Stephanie Cataldo

Self-released: 2006

Buy it now

This review first appeared in the May 25, 2006 issue of the North County Times.

Escondido, California's Stephanie Cataldo has released a five-song EP of tremendous vision and even greater potential. Containing one absolute gem of a pop nuggett in "Hazy," the CD has a remarkably full, polished sound for a local debut. Much more importantly, the record shows a young musician with a very firm grasp of what she wants to accomplish with guitar and voice and the requisite skills to pull it off.

"Hazy" in particular will grab you hard. It's got everything you could want in a pop song: luxuriant melody, more hooks than a bass tournament and a thick-pile arrangement that lets Cataldo show off those gorgeous pipes of hers. "Something More" is nearly as good, with a tough, edgy electric guitar lead turned in by co-producer Drew Ferrante that highlights the song's catchy theme. And on the broken-hearted "Empty Space" Cataldo's harmony vocals are nearly decadent in their richness.

Five songs isn't much – particularly when every one of them is complete and likely to get stuck in your head. So here's hoping Cataldo's already at work on her next recording.