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Christina Rubino – “The Gateway”

Christina Rubino – “The Gateway”

Christina RubinoChristina RubinoIt’s always the strongest voices that show us the most vulnerability. No matter what the song’s content is, vulnerability is the most relatable thing it can offer. Sometimes it feels like music doesn’t have room for that type of honesty anymore. We may complain about how inexperienced youth artists’ songs hold no subtext or meaning. But their doodles don’t resonate like a poetic retelling of true struggle. That retelling is timeless as long as we know struggle.

Alive from the Scrapheap is Christina Rubino’s debut album as a singer, but it’s her comeback as person. Christina’s voice, coloring the air with a Stevie Nicks vibe, gives us a background story through the introductory track “The Gateway.” This song is set in hopelessness and reflects on the alcoholism and depression that Christina was facing. However, instead of pacing in the dark places, Christina has her resolution within the first verse: “Use your voice, use it because you can. Try to find that voice, the voice you thought you’d never hear again.”

This line is very Meta, as it’s a song referencing its own genesis. We can look at that line and say it’s about being a singer, but it’s more than that. It’s a song about standing back up, defeating your demons, and trying again to succeed. In Christina’s case, this song is her success.

Christina has an enviable voice that carries your attention. It has enough drama and beauty to give her lyrics the required authenticity. My only suggestion would be composition-based. The instruments are mixed well and the recording quality is good. But outside of the lyrics, there isn’t much of a melody to hum along to. The harmonica had the perfect opportunity to add it, but ended up just blowing and drawing on the same note. It was a let-down, but the only let-down. If that harmonica gives us more to remember, the song reaches its full potential.

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Some tales are told with paper and ink, other tales pass from tongue  to ear and find life in spoken word. There are some stories, however,  which can be neither spoken nor read. Some stories sink so low and  reach so high that they can only be told through song; Alive from the  Scrapheap is that story.

Brooklyn native and musician, Christina Rubino’s first full-length  solo album Alive from the Scrapheap is set to release in early 2014.  This powerful and eclectic album tells the story of a gifted artist  who got lost trying to find herself and only found herself when she  was lost. Her lyrics are intertwined with beautiful harmonies, rustic  harmonicas, raw emotion and an acoustic twang. By teaming up with  longtime music producer and fellow Brooklynite Jerry Farley (NOVA  Entertainment Group), magic transpired in the studio.  Rubino bares  her bones.  Songs like “Seems,” detail the intimate struggle of living  with addiction and losing one?s parents. “Tidal,” hits it to the heart  for anyone who has ever lost control of his or her life. “Nothing to  Gain,” speaks of human frailties that all people can relate to while  “Gateway” lifts listeners up by the banjo strings to new hope and  inspiration.


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