Art Aesthetic is the eight track debut album from Glaswegian pop singer-songwriter Sharon Martin. The quality of her songwriting is high and the music ranges effortlessly across several different styles. Themes of empowerment and friendship tie some very disparate tracks together into an album that is cohesive yet still has plenty of musical variety.
The album opens with Be Who You Be, an upbeat pop song with a clear message: have confidence in yourself and achieve all you can. The track is lively and the strong beat reinforces the empowering theme. Little Friend also speaks to making the most of your opportunities, a lovely positive track with a simple yet inspiring feel.
The acoustic Love Without Sex asks the question, “Is friendship just love without the sex?” Whatever the answer, it is clear that good friendships are to be cherished. Fair Weather, a simpler acoustic song, contrasts true friends with those who “never last the seasons to come”. This pair of tracks are different in sound, yet feel linked by their lyrical content.
The excellent Carter Scratch tells us that women’s achievements match those of men, despite those who believe that women should stick to merely looking good. The title references the style of guitar playing pioneered by Maybelle Carter (leader of the Carter Family and mother of June Carter Cash) that changed country music, showing the great things a women’s work can achieve. Rosa Parks is also referenced in a cleverly constructed song, together with the many other women whose accomplishments go unacknowledged: the “silenced sister” and the “hidden figure from a history book”.
The standout track is Glaswegian Lights, a passionate and high energy pop song with a big chorus that is both a tender love song and a homage to Martin’s home city. This is the best vocal performance on the album and you’ll find yourself singing it long after the album ends. The title track Art Aesthetic names many different art forms as a metaphor for love, the synth sound strong. Another stirring electro pop song, the closing Annie Lennox, provides a fitting tribute to the Scots musical legend.
This is a short album with eight good, yet varied, pop songs. What shines through is the quality of the songwriting and the warm, impassioned vocals that bring the words to life. Shaz Martin is a talented performer and this album is well worth downloading from iTunes or Amazon music.