Album Review // Alive from the Scrapheap by Christina Rubino
By Kevin Tshiamala
The battle of addiction, a tale we all know too well, despite the trouble and heartache it causes sometimes illuminates beauty. Christina Rubino is a young talented singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, NY who like many musicians that have battled with addiction, although hesitant, has decided to record her personal battles turning them into delightful folk tunes on her new anticipated March 1st album release, Alive from the Scrapheap (preview at bottom of feed).
The album consists of eleven very well produced tracks that take you through the dark depths of Rubino’s addiction at times contrasting with more upbeat and uplifting banjo driven ballads. If you are drawn to deep melodic, dark and heavy harmonial acoustic folk songs with piercing vocals, but lingering with intense feel of struggle similar to the likes of Norah Jones, Janis Joplin, Beth Gibbons, Carly Simon, and Odetta, this album will surely fit right into your melancholy afternoon coffee reading sessions.
The album starts off on a high note with “The Gateway.” It’s driven by the banjo melody, accompanied by a nice harmonica rhythm, and lead nicely by Christina’s lyrics/vocals. Next, “Pending the Last Soul” is a strong follow and the best song on the album. The folk-blues electric -guitar-acoustic arrangement again blending well with the harmonica is an easy, down and out, old school groovy rhythm. Her voice is powerful and the lyrics meaningful as well as relatable. Surely a tough act to follow and as expected its successor, although good, fails in comparison. The album continues to drive through basic acoustic rhythmically composed songs with heartfelt lyrics and vocals dealing with addiction, loss and struggle. “Tidal” will relate to most that have ever been out of control of their life. “Stix n’ Stones” is a nice tune driven by banjos which is about overcoming obstacles. The album wraps up with “Billy’s Song.” It is a wonderful ballad with heartfelt lyrics that seems to pay homage to the folk legends before her such as Bobbie Gentry [Ode to Billy Joe].
As Christina stated, “I swore most of these songs would never see the light of day. They were too personal, too embarrassing. It was difficult to even play them in front of my producer. It was only the constant nagging from my conscience and the unrelenting feeling that I must do this which led me to the decision to continue recording.” It is only the most personal, most difficult, and embarrassing art that seems to stand out. Although not every song is worthy of top ten praise, the album as a whole flows well and its message will surely help those in need of a little light throughout their dark days. To Christina Rubino, thanks for sharing your talents and in your own words, “I am grateful to G-d that I can share the experience and my only hope is that somebody somewhere will know that they are not alone.
The album, Alive from the Scrapheap, is set to be released March 1st, 2014. You can stream the entire album below or at Christina Rubino’s soundcloud.
For more information please visit Chriistina Rubino’s official website: http://www.christinarubino.com
For social media please visit: facebook.com/christinarubinomusic