This powerful, highly marketable album tells the story of a gifted artist who got lost trying to find herself and only found herself when she was searching for a light to guide her.
It was while studying to be a nurse that singer/songwriter Roxanna witnessed first hand the healing power of music. Sitting bedside with a patient suffering from dementia, she sang gently to the elderly woman, who was no longer swallowing. “She looked into my eyes and for the first time, I saw her smile. And she began to eat,” Roxanna says. “The doctors were amazed.” After becoming an RN in Toronto, again, Roxanna sang each night to a young man battling cancer while enduring a regimen of caustic treatment. When he was at last released from the hospital, the man’s father—with tears in his eyes—said to her, “My son is better because of the way you sang to him.” “Exotica” is ready for the world. “I look at this experience like cooking a delicious meal. It takes time for everything to come together just right. I can’t wait to share my songs as a testament that time has a way of healing everything. When you find the strength to make a change, love and forgiveness and healing are around the corner.”
Her lyrics are intertwined with beautiful harmonies, rustic beats and rhythms, raw emotion and classic Piano-Pop twang. One gets the impression, early and often, that Roxanna is very much a Singer/Songwriter with a great voice and a stunning look. This is not Sonic Pop, i/e music to the point where live performance based recordings are stripped down re replaced with refined sonic touches. For her style of music this more conventional approach works extremely well thus putting the spotlight of Roxanna as the primary. The songwriting is far above average, with earthy – sometimes Spanish overtones, songs that naturally run their course not under duress, and a wide variety of sonic-ambient pop tidbits offering the bulk of what makes this 13 track CD so impactful and enjoyable.
Lately in other forms of entertainment the emphasis seems to be shifting from a good acting or effective character development to things like Special Effects and visual flash. Music is following down the same path. With Music the emphasis is shifting from good genuine songwriting to top flight vocal ability to more visual flash, autotune theatrics and overly choreographed performances that lack spontaneity. This is my biggest gripe with modern pop. None of this really applies to Roxanna though – but she’s kind of in this genera. This is why I would classify her as primarily Singer/Songwriter. For the most part Roxanna is really great at one thing – singing her heart out. The vocal performances are pure gold, and the messages are clearly real. “Exotica” is a showcase of fine musical and instrumental ability. Sure her vocal talents may not be to the level of Celine Dion but she gets her point across in spades with amazing grace, finesse and touch. Roxanna also possesses strong musical instincts behind the microphone and also has cutting edge. Musical flow equal parts intimate, equal parts intricate providing the perfect underpinning each song needs to make a real connection with the listener. Musicianship and production strokes undeniably appealing, with a full spectrum of musicianship including guest appearance by Trumpeter Chris Botti. All tracks cover a variety of genres (in terms of tempo and feel). Also worthy of note is the radio friendly production work, which does a definitive job in highlighting the vocal delivery of Roxanna. The more you are emotionally in-tune with her messages and music, the more powerful her lament will become. I find myself more intrigued by this concept, although the concept by itself is at best a loose thing that is hard to pinpoint. In other words you have to be in the mood to fully grasp this record thus maximizing its impact. In any event – Roxanna and her songs have emotive impact compatible with reality – and this is the beauty of the title and concept that is “Exotica”