Christine Denté – Closer to Free: Change is hidden in the chrysalis

Artist: Christine Denté
Album: Closer to Free EP
Year: 2017
Grade: B

In Brief: A delightful morsel of mellow pop music from one of the very first pop singers I ever fell in love with. This is probably the closest that Christine as a solo artist has come to the classic Out of the Grey sound – just imagine more of a keyboard-based take on that, with the usual understated but smart songwriting, and you’ll have some idea of what to expect here.

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Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2017: Wait, That’s Not an Album! (and Last Year’s Leftovers)

As always, I wanted to give a mention to the music I enjoyed this year that didn’t fit the traditional “album” format, or else that was released in 2016 and I didn’t catch up to it until this year. Either way, none of it’s eligible for my Top 20 list, but all of it is definitely worth checking out if anything I have to say here piques your interest.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #83: November-December 2009

Here’s the best of what I was listening to as the previous decade closed out. While I definitely ended the 2000s in a much better place than I was at the beginning of that decade, there had definitely been some hard times toward the end of 2009, and we were looking forward to a year-end trip to visit family in Hawaii. I can tell looking back at a lot of these songs that I was really longing for some rest and recreation with a beautiful beach as the backdrop.

In with the New:
fun.

Out with the Old:
Rob Thomas

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Divad’s Soundtrack #71: November-December 2007

2007 was the rare year where I actually embraced and enjoyed the winter season, as evidenced by the Christmas and winter-themed songs that dominate the end of Disc Two. Southern California winters are not known for being snowy, but there’s winter imagery to be found if you’re looking for it. As a deliberate contrast, the first several songs on Disc One are dominated by the theme of fire. Because, unfortunately, wildfires are a common feature of California autumns.

Out with the Old:
Luna Halo

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Divad’s Soundtrack #51: July-August 2004

In the summer of 2004, I began to set plans in motion to take hold of the future I really wanted for myself and Christine. Slightly hampering those plans: A few sudden, unexpected financial difficulties. It was demoralizing at first, but I was beginning to believe quite strongly in the value of delayed gratification.

In with the New:
Modest Mouse

It Was Worth a Try:
Hoobastank
Neal Morse

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Divad’s Soundtrack #50: May-June 2004

I was really high on life when I made this mix. While it isn’t without the usual aggressive, angsty, and melodramatic material, I feel like there was a conscious scaling back on that side of things to allow more room for the wistful, romantic stuff. That’s what best represented how I was feeling at the time.

In with the New:
Joe Henry
Ron Sexsmith
Something Like Silas
Sufjan Stevens

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Divad’s Soundtrack #49: March-April 2004

The spring of 2004 found us settling into a comfortable groove. Christine and I went on hikes together, attended our fair share of concerts, and in general just came to love the rhythm of our lives. Life wasn’t without its challenges, but for the most part, we had attained the stability I had spent most of 2003 longing for.

In with the New:
Falling Up
Abra Moore

Out with the Old:
Dave Matthews (as a solo artist – appears later with Dave Matthews Band)
Avalon

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Divad’s Soundtrack #48: January-February 2004

I felt like the year 2004 began with a renewed sense of certainty. Its earliest months are memorable to me and Christine for our first real experiences of traveling together. Whether alone or with a group of people, I learned that she’s a really good travel buddy.

In with the New:
Eastmountainsouth
Maroon5
Christine Denté (as a solo artist – appears previously with Out of the Grey)
Sleeping at Last

Out with the Old:
Vertical Horizon
Ashley Cleveland
ZOEgirl

It Was Worth a Try:
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Kutless

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Divad’s Soundtrack #4: April-July 1995

Here’s what I was listening to during my last days of high school, and over the summer as I began to realize my need to separate from the seemingly small world around me (despite some people that I really wanted to hold on to) and to emotionally prepare myself for my first semester at Occidental College, which I chose over Pitzer out of the two schools that had accepted me, in the fall.

In with the New:
Code of Ethics
Jars of Clay
Tony Vincent
Cindy Morgan
Clay Crosse
Sixpence None the Richer
Anointed
Chris Eaton
Nouveaux
Michael O’Brien

Out with the Old:
Steve Taylor (as a solo artist – appears later with Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil)

It Was Worth a Try:
Big Tent Revival
Ron Kenoly

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