Exactly when did it become fashionable in pop music to sing torch songs in an almost breathless whisper? I suppose it is an extension of the Fiona Apple school of vocal training. When used properly it can be very effective. Jessica Domingo knows how to use it properly. Each week on my syndicated radio show, The Mad Music Asylum, I scope out at least four independent artists to feature on the indie spotlight. Last week, I was running late putting the show together and I had three artists who had submitted their music to me for consideration. I was struggling to find a fourth artist to fit into the mix when I came across an EP from Jessica Domingo and almost passed it by, not because it wasn’t good enough. It was too good. Rarely, in this day and age do I find a 5 song EP where every one of the songs is a stand out track. Domingo’s EP “Masterpiece” was a pleasure to discover and I am pleased that she chose me to write a review of the EP. After inclusion on the show, I guess she thought I liked it enough not to trash it in a review.
Yes, I will admit, I am somewhat of a music snob. I don’t feel that way because my tastes are very wide ranging and I like a lot of different kinds of music. I will never play for pay on my show because you can get stuck playing some god-awful music. These days, however, it is a little more difficult to find “the good stuff” because there is so much “bad stuff” being released. Domingo’s EP surely ranks in the former category. It is evident from listening to the EP that this young lady has quite a musical education. According to her published bio, she “grew up listening to all different kinds of music” and it comes through in her original compositions. One of her songs was a semi-finalists for the worldwide UnsignedOnly Music Competition 2013 and her song ‘Masterpiece’ won in the Teen category in the 2014 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) out of over 18,000 entries. Not a bad resume for someone not yet 20.
The EP begins with the song ‘Masterpiece’ and it is aptly titled. It is an upbeat pop anthem that could easily be heard on any top 40 station in the world. ‘Music’ is the next track and if Domingo can’t get any traction with it, her “people” need to get it to Corinne Bailey Ray. She would certainly have a hit with it. My favorite track on the album is ‘Everything Just Wasn’t Enough’. It’s the track I chose to feature on my show and shows a maturity in song writing far beyond her years. The other two tracks on the album ‘We Could Be Anything’ and ‘Last Night’ are solid cuts and round out the EP quite nicely. Jessica Domingo is an artist I will follow as I believe she has tremendous potential in this business.
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.