Christina Maria’s Straight Line: Album Review

Seven soulful songs, five different producers, one amazing singer and songwriter:

Christina Maria delivers an album worth several listens.

Christina Maria may have been born in Vancouver, but she spends a great deal of time traveling from city to city and often country to country. According to her website bio, the creation of Straight Line took her across Canada working with several different producers in several different sound studios. The end result is a small collection of beautifully executed invitations to peek into her head and watch her life and the world around her directly from her point of view.

A Straight Line from Stars & Satellites

With almost two years in between the release of Stars & Satellites and Straight Line, Canadian singer/songwriter, Christina Maria made good use of her time developing a slightly more mature sound, incorporating a new intensity and irony to her lyrics. In Straight Line, she steps away from the sidelines and the almost voyeuristic storytelling approach she previously incorporated and delves more deeply into the human soul.

Canadian Artist’s Sound is Mesmerizing

If there is anything negative to be said about this album it is that it’s simply too short. There are only seven tracks, beginning with the most likely-to-be-a-single “Carolina” and building like a mesmerizing plot through to “What You Make It”. It’s the fall from the crescendo that seems rather abrupt and leaves the listener wishing there were more. It feels unbearable that it’s over.

Leading with such a likely hit might not always be the smartest thing to do as a young artist, but in the case of Straight Line and “Carolina”, it works out beautifully because the subsequent tracks are beautifully choreographed and the album line-up is blocked very cleverly. “Carolina” opens the show, as it were, and sets up the story.

The story could be a relationship suffering a breakdown. It begins like a warning and by the eruption of “What You Make It”, the relationship is on that fence, ready to fail or ready to recover. “A Lover in Me” is reflection, determination and resolution. It seems to be the re-establishing of communication. In the end, the relationship begins to reform.

While the subject matter of each song may not always be upbeat or happy, Christina has found a way to string her sounds and lyrics so subtly together and back it with a hopeful tone that even in “Kind Friend”, a song written when she discovered an acquaintance had been in prison for murder, the listener still feels as if it’s all going to be just fine. This song, along with “Carolina”, seems to stay rooted in the brain, lingering long after the album is over.

What’s Next for an Indie Folk singer?

Currently on tour in Europe, Christina heads back to Canada at the end of August to continue to promote Straight Lines. For more information and tour dates, check her website. Christina also keeps a blog of her tour there.