Janet Martin

Cloud Cover – 1997 (Planetary)

Reviewed by Bruce Kidder

CDs by Janet Martin

Janet Martin uses her voice as a weapon. The sensual delivery in each song makes the listener take notice of the words being delivered. Martin, from Richmond, delivers a nicely produced set of 12 songs covering the whole spectrum of country music. For the most part, Martin is at her best singing songs that she wrote. The stand out tracks include: "Between Love and Hate," a medium tempo number with excellent instrumentation, and "Melody Blue," a bluesy number with high quality National Steel work by Terry Garland.

Sometimes you have to take the good with the mediocre. A truly forgettable Cajun shuffle drags down the middle of the disc. In addition, Martin phones in two numbers written by bandmate and producer Mic Muller: "Magic Touch" and "Crossroads of Love."

This disc is a great start for an artist looking for much wider acclaim nationally. Next time, Martin should rely more on her own songwriting prowess and use her voice to its fullest by using more inflection and a bit less monotone.