CD review: Inhibition
By: Dan Brisebois
Edmonton's Naomi Carmack got her first big break in '91, when the then 12 year-old entered her song "Be My Baby" in a local radio station contest, placing second runner-up and later being featured on their subsequent homegrown talent CD. The same song also landed her a nomination in '95's Alberta Recording Industry Association's award for best new dance artist. She's spent the time since honing her craft, performing live throughout the country and quietly become one of Canada's best kept musical secrets.
2002 finally brings us her INDEPENDENT debut, INHIBITION. Mostly the last few years' collaberations with producers Corey Johnson and Mike Bidlock, the songs demonstrate one of the most mature sounds you're going to find on the scene today. Refreshingly surprising considering she hasn't celbrated her 24th birthday yet. The lead off track "Alive" gives you just a taste of the treat to come.
Filled with the passion that for the most part is lacking from today's new artists, Naomi has one of the strongest voices - capable of incredible range, evident in the sultry "Possession" and the driving hard-edge of "Cut Me Down".
Her prowess and way of getting inside her listenners is normally only associated with artists who've been around the block more than a few times. Part of this can be attributed to her wide array of influences, ranging from rhythm and blues to Bon Jovi to the Backstreet Boys. "Over", easily one of the best power ballads I've heard from ANYONE in ages, again demonstrates why Naomi Carmack is one of Canada's best unsigned artists and why INHIBITION is possibly THE sleeper hit of 2002.
Alot of Naomi's credit can be given to her producers. Corey Johnson and Mike Bidlock have quietly carved a name for themselves in Edmonton as two of the hottest new guys behind the boards, and also perform all instruments on the album. The fact only three people are involved in the recording help Naomi maintain creative control, keeping the disc from becoming diluted. The jazz-flavoured "Inhibition" could easily fit into rotation in any contemporary radio station's playlist, as can be said for anything on this disc.
But don't take my word for it - check out her website and listen to the sound clips. She'll make you a believer. Naomi has such a passion for music and is such an incredible talent, it's impossible to imagine anything but stardom for her. If you only buy one disc this entire year, make sure it's INHIBITION - you'll thank yourself - and her.