Martha Berner | Ten Tiny Little Pieces EP (Machine)

It is truly a daunting task to rise above the glut of singers with guitars draped off their shoulder.

 

I absolutely love EPs. Most of the time, you get the best of an artist without the wanderings and unfinished thoughts.

Not so with the Ten Tiny Little Pieces EP from Martha Berner. Although the title track is a beautifully written hurt-wrench of a song which finds Berner delivering the best performance I've ever heard from her, it doesn't save Ten Tiny Little Pieces from the lack of production ideas or poor choices in material that follow with the remaining three tracks. Berner made an incredibly bad decision in choosing to cover Velvet Underground and Nico's "Sunday Morning"; she sounds as if she's being forced against her will to sing. "Down and Out in San Francisco" and "Wait for Me" are much better performances, but the bland production leaves the songs stale and sounding like every other bedroom singer-songwriter in the world.

It is truly a daunting task to rise above the glut of singers with guitars draped off their shoulder. There was a glimmer of hope with Ten Tiny Little Pieces, but one remarkable song can't save the mediocrity throughout. C | Jeffrey Smith

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