Claire Trentain
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Claire Trentain

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k, I am going to come clean, I hate pop music. Call me overly cynical, call me a narrow-minded twat, call me whatever you want (I am angling for Messiah, but strangely its not catching on). In my learned opinion *cough* by and large pop is vacuous twaddle with little musical merit and even less interest.

Therefore, when Claire Trentain’s debut album came flying over my desk for review, I approached it with trepidation. I feared that I would give it an absolute slating based on my possible (read probable) musical bias, rather than its inherent musical merit.

Thus, in order to give this release the fairest review possible, it is necessary to define it with those great tomes of what makes a great pop record rather than to define it by my hatred of the entire genre.

Therefore, I present to you the golden rules of making a great pop record AND illustrating how and if Claire Trentain’s Loving the Blue and Green fits within these iron clad directives.

1. Team up with reputable song writers with a proven track record.

Check: Trentain has teamed up with songwriters from pop powerhouse Murlyn Music (producers of Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez) to create her first album; given their credentials they have indeed given her pop cred.

2. Make sure you are a spunk

Check: The CD artwork features the very attractive Trentain modeling numerous Supre numbers to great effect. Giving ample cross promotion, should the opportunity arise. Moreover, Trentain has a gimmick, with her turquoise dyed fringe allows her to have just enough of the rebel touch for the 14 year old girls of the nation to relate too, without the mascara smudge or lipstick smear of Courtney Love.

3. Write lyrics that are understandable and will resonate with your audience: 14 year old girls.

Check: Some gems to be treasured by non-emo teen around the land.

“So please stop steppin’ on my shoes
Cause I’m not here,
I’m not here for you,
So please stop steppin’ on my shoes
I don’t know why you still don’t have a clue”
- Steppin’ On My Shoes – Track 9

“Don’t see me rushing for the door
Its not often someone intrigues me
Oh I couldn’t wish for much more
Boy you are sexy in a lovable way”

- What Would You Say – Track 7




4. Make sure that you at least have a modicum of talent and a decent voice

Check: Trentain plays guitar on most of the tracks on the album and possessesa vocal tone not dissimilar to warm honey and a much better than average range, replete with the odd vocal gymnastics move.

5. Ensure that all your songs don’t sound the same for maximum radio airplay.

Check: What Would You Say is the first pop track I have ever heard to feature a near polka beat, to white I can only say kudos. Moreover, the remainder of the album is remarkably varied with the Mix FM friendly, Superlative with its piano ‘It could be Delta’ intro opening into a cruisy little number replete with soaring harmonies and AOR edge (and absolute oxymoron to be sure). Gypsy, not surprisingly, employs a distinct flamenco flavour opening folding out into a pop song which would slip effortlessly into any Eurovision roster.

Considering Trentain’s strict adherence to the above rules (which are by no means an exhaustive list), I am surprised that commercial radio has not been jumping all over this release. Not only has Trentain delivered a solid, better-than-average pop record she has also done it all on her own bat, having released the album independently, rather than relying on a mainstream record company picking her up (and that is something that even I, a wizened old pop-hater can doff my hat to).

This may be the crux of the problem however, unlike the ‘alternative’ independent scene, which has a fairly strong infrastructure within itself to at least offer some recognition on traditionally alternative media, the same cannot be said of independent pop. For pop is, by and large, what is championed by the evil, nasty, mainstream radio which is controlled by big multinational record companies, leaving little independent pop-makers, like Claire Trentain, stalled in the gates of success.

Hopefully, Loving the Blue and Green sees Trentain given a big fat non-recoupable advance by a large (yet friendly) multinational record company and allows her to further chip away at mainstream radio. Failing that, I suggest that she get herself a part in either Neighbours or Home and Away and she will be handed a record contract no questions asked. The stumbling block here is that Claire Trentain obviously has talent; and as a card-carrying rock chick you have no idea how it pains me to say that. - Aardvark Ranch Reviews


Discography

- 'Loving the Blue and Green' is Claire's debut album - the first Australian album hitmakers Murlyn Music has ever agreed to produce. Murlyn has produced smash hit songs for Madonna, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Santana, Ricky Martin, Ronan Keating, Janet Jackson and sugarbabes to name a few!
- Claire’s 'Warmth' single reached #2 in AIR charts and #15 in ARIA charts in 2006
- Claire’s latest single 'What Would You Say?' debuted at #2 AIR Charts and #18 ARIA charts (singles).

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Bio

I really didn't expect to see a 'show' like that in the Valley by a local talent. It really was a 'show' in the true sense, complete with costumes, clever lighting, back-up dancers and even a pole dancer - I was completely entertained from start to finish. Claire just didn't stop giving and just when you thought she couldn't pull anything else out of the bag, she'd be back on stage in a new outfit with a new surprise.

Not only is Claire a great performer, but she's also got an endearing personality that seems to suit both stage and screen, as we saw in her film clip. There's nothing pretentious about her, but she doesn't insult the
audience by not giving it her all. Even though she appears effortless and natural, you know she's worked damn hard.

I couldn't help but think of Madonna and Kylie Minogue during some of her acts, but that's not to say she's a carbon copy of either of them - there's something edgier and kind of cheeky about Claire. Yes, she's gorgeous, yes, she's sexy, but there's also an innocence and an element of accessibility about her. Despite the highly polished performance, you kind of can't help but get the impression she's singing directly to you.

I feel like I've discovered a star - in five years time, I'll be saying, 'I saw Claire perform in at a club in the Valley', and people will think that's as surreal as saying you saw Kylie or Madonna do the same.

Greer Quinn
FORWARD COMMUNICATIONS (5 June, 2007)