by Germar Derron
She's versatile. "Versatility" always cuts both ways as a critique of any art form. In music, musicians, and lay listening aficionados, admire the skill. Record label execs sometimes appreciate the "there's a little something for everyone" factor. But Mr. Joe Schmo Don't Know might think that the album is unfocused or arbitrary. Fortunately, I'm a musician.
First, I listened to the single "Crooked Roads." Pop. Immediately, I thought of a comparable artist--a young Kelly Clarkson (even before I knew of Peruto's American Idol ties). I understand why this track is a single; it's timeless and ubiquitous. No one should dislike this song. From the Sea to the Sky works as well today as it would have ten years ago, and as well as it will ten years from now. It's seriously safe. But the vocals begged for more. That voice is dying for edge--harshness, distorted guitars . . . rock. I wanted to attack those vocals with an exaggerated EQ, distortion, compression, and delay. If she is a "Kelly Clarkson," she's not the sweet "A Moment Like This" product. She's the "'Breakaway' and beyond" version. She's "Since U Been Gone" and "Walk Away." And I judged the project prematurely.
Camille Peruto demonstrates that edge I craved on almost every other song on the album. It sounds like an ode to all of the top (pop) female vocalists of the past fifteen years, and in the best way. I hear bits of Hayley Williams, P!nk, Amy Lee, and of course Clarkson. She's exactly the artist I hoped she'd be, just not on "Crooked Roads."
I can't criticize the project much, but to say it's a solid and safe seven. At the live shows--and the next time in the studio--the engineers, producers, and Peruto should take more chances and push to eleven.