Spark Magazine
Lotus Hill band featured in Spark Magazine, September 2008


reviews: Christine Moll-Pretty Show, June 2002
Reviewed by Reggie
Some excerpts from the review are below. Please visit the site for complete review.

"...Underneath the beautiful, strong voice is something more visceral. The pretty show is supported by outstanding guitar work reminiscent of Johnny Marr with The Smiths. Its the even songs (tracks 2,4,6,8, and 10), oddly enough, that I enjoyed the most. Any one of them could easily be mistaken for a tune by The Smiths or 10,000 Maniacs. The latter may be easier for most to imagine, but check out a couple of tunes from Rank or Strangeways Here We Come. Ultimately, it is the contrast between Christine's lilting, ethereal at times voice and the solid guitar of her backing band that sets her apart from all of the Sarah wannabees.

I don't wish to discount the beauty or power of the other tracks. Christine, on voice alone, could probably make any song great. I just want to make clear that Christine is more than just another pretty voice. Pretty Show is a complete, professional CD that showcases a singer, a songwriter, a storyteller, and some very talented musicians. We're due for another wave of popular music featuring female artists (not teeny boppers). Hopefully, Christine Moll will get the attention she deserves."

Collected Sounds
reviews: Christine Moll-Pretty Show, April 1, 2002
Reviewed by Anna Maria Stjarnell

Christine Moll's music is pretty and understated but full to the brim with emotion. She sings a bit like Sarah McLachlan and writes great songs. The mournful "In the Rain" is very moving and has some lovely harmonies. "No Fires" is a brilliant, slightly R.E.M-like track with a hummable tune. "Panic Free" is hopeful and soothing. The piano ballad "Steady the World" is calm and sweet. Christine Moll's album is wonderful and deserves to be heard by many. [back to top]
Girl Player reviews: Christine Moll-Pretty Show, February 2002
Reviewed by Nollie DeVol

Pretty show's opening track, In The Rain, has all the right elements to introduce us to what singer/songwriter/guitarist, Christine Moll can do...write great songs and lyrics that compliment her voice and musicianship. In The Rain has great backing vocals, the backing vocalist's voice blends great with Christine's...probably because she takes on both the lead and backing vocalist role...and it sounds fantastic. Doing your own background vocals doesn't always get you the right sound, but something special was captured here. In The Rain is a strong first track, but a bit lengthy, pushing over the 6 minute mark.

On track 3, No Fires, you just say "wow, this is some great songwriting." No Fires is right up there with Melissa Ferrick caliber songwriting, and that's no easy task! Christine Moll's voice is smooth and controlled, her vocals have been compared to Sarah McLachlan.

These days is a bit more upbeat. It sounds like it could have been one of Natalie Merchant's fun songs, or one of Sarah McLachlan's faster other words ..... a hit! The guitar riff and percussion set the pace for this catchy pop song.

Hope Song rocks out with Mark Moll on electrical guitar, and Christine Moll shows she can keep up by belting out the vocals. I like this fast sound for Christine Moll, it a nice treat and breaks cleanly away from the mellow acoustic sounds.

Closing out with Leo Carrillo, our talented Ms. Moll plays the harmonica. Christine Moll is really a well rounded artist both vocally and musically. Her vocals are very commercially appealing, and the songwriting is truly a notch above most of the other up and coming artists. I can see Christine Moll taking off!! She's got it, take a listen for yourself.
reviews: Christine Moll-Pretty Show, February 2001
reviewed by Danielle Egnew

Question: What is the one thing harder to find than a needle in a haystack?

Answer: Tastefully done, intelligent, dynamic pop music.

I found the needle in the haystack.

Christine Moll steps up to the plate and pops a grand slam home run with her pop release “Pretty Show”, which puts on much more than just a pretty show. The album has the feeling tone of taking a long car ride on a winter’s day, the sun beating in through the window and warming your chest, while you watch the icy world go by as if you have the secret to being warm. There is a dignity about her lyrics and a non-posturing sophistication to her arrangements that is perfectly married to the gentle groove beneath her songs.

Her website describes the music as acoustic rock rather than pop, possibly because in this era of Britney Spears and Mandy Moore “pop”, no one wants to claim that they are a pop artist. But let us all remember that before pop meant “Britney”, it meant “widely accessible by many”. That is the accurate description for “Pretty Show.”

Christine Moll knows how to balance a traveling pop sound and well thought-out instrumentals, without teetering over the “pretentious” or “angry woman” cliff. Her abilities as a singer/songwriter are masterfully showcased by her brother and producer, Mark Moll.

Fans of Natalie Merchant will appreciate Christine’s lilting, relaxed vocals, and Cranberries fans will appreciate her ability to occasionally crack her vocal break for emphasis. However, Christine Moll’s songwriting is far more impressive than either one of those artists. The fearless use of just wide open, soaring backing vocals is one of my favorite aspects of this album.

I am confident that Christine Moll’s abilities as an effective recording artist and stellar songwriter will be capitalized upon very soon by a record label. She has that pop “it”.

Hit Picks: "No Fires" and "Panic Free"
reviews: Christine Moll-Pretty Show, March 16, 2002
Reviewed by Valeri Fasimpaur

Eventually, you have to stop listening to the CD and actually write about it. I've had a hard time doing this with Christine Moll's Pretty Show. When it's not playing in one CD player or another, it's playing in my head. We sometimes get music to review that's on the fringe of our comfort zone. This offering is solidly in the middle of what I typically listen to and seek out. It has earned a permanent place in my rotation among better known artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant, both of whom Christine has been compared to. So, before getting into the details, let me say that I enthusiastically recommend this work to all "girl music" aficionados.

The instrumentation on Pretty Show is pretty typical of folk-rock bands, but it works atypically well on this CD. As expected, Christine accompanies herself on acoustic guitar. Brother and producer Mark Moll adds piano, organ and both electric and acoustic guitar. The rest of the band consists of Tony Caruso on electric guitar, John Cannon on drums, Anthony Mauriello on bass and Jackie Baxter on a slew of percussion. The arrangements and mixing are excellent. The band is an integral part of each song, rather than just an accompaniment to Christine's lovely, emoting voice. The instrumentation is always just right for the mood of each song -- never overpowering, always flattering to Christine's lead vocals. The same can be said for the backing vocals of Mark and Tony.

Christine wrote all of her own lyrics on Pretty Show and either wrote or co-wrote with Tony all of the music. Her lyrics are very personal but not so cryptic as to alienate the listener. I found her music very engaging in the sense that, when it's on, you are compelled to listen. She has blended elements of folk, rock and pop to come up with a group of songs that is diverse, passionate and enjoyable.

My inclination is to describe in detail every one of the ten tracks on this album. However, because I would run out of superlatives, I'll try to limit myself to my favorite three. The first track, "In the Rain," is a perfect introduction to Christine's voice and excellent songwriting. The song is dedicated to the memory of a woman who died at age 23 and tells of how difficult it is to "believe that she won't be back." The minor chords on the electric guitar and finger-picked countermelody on the acoustic, along with the gentle piano, sets such a melancholy mood that it's impossible not to get caught up in this one. Christine backs up her own vocal lead with soaring tones that sound like cries in the distance. Every time I play this I lose six minutes of productive time.

Another wonderful song is "No Fires." The subject here is a tumultuous relationship that has ended. The speaker has gotten over it and gone on saying, "...all these fires that were raging/they've all burned out along the way." This song has a simple melody that wholly expresses the regret and relief that comes with the subject. The far-away sound of Tony's backing vocals is like another instrument, complementing Christine perfectly. In the "Hope Song," we get to hear a little of the rock side of this band. Skillful electric guitar work and edgier vocals make this uptempo song a stand out. I'll stop here, but there is not a bad track on this CD. It is 42 minutes of good stuff.

I'm often amazed at the talent and hard work of regional singer-songwriters and their bands. Philadelphia and the rest of the northeast are lucky to have Christine Moll. Based on Pretty Show, she has the sound and songwriting talent to make it in the bigger world of eclectic girl singers. Encore and good luck!
reviews: Christine Moll-Pretty Show, December 2001
reviewed by: Aniceé L. Cochran

When I first put this CD in, and gave it a spin I was incredibly pleased with the serene sounds that came from my speakers. Christine Moll possesses a mature, and graceful voice that lures you in from the first track, "In the Rain."

I can't deny that I anticipated a single voice, and single acoustic guitar upon receiving this release. Much to my surprise there is a solid string of musicians accompanying Christine throughout the effort. If comparisons had to be made I would say that she's got a relatively unique approach to the music she's creating, but folks who enjoy the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, and the Indigo Girls will find this release a great one to add to their collections. This disc crosses several genres. From acoustic alt-country to soft rock with a hint of latin rhythms, there's room for everyone to enjoy, "Pretty Show."

Christine Moll makes one steady point with her vocals that is often over-looked by many. A woman can have a powerful voice, and relay her songs with volume & strength. That same woman can also sit down, get a little breathy, and join the masses of the melancholy. Flexibility is a skill many vocalists opt out of. I don't mean scales, and fancy R&B hooks, I mean experimenting with different methods of singing. Making your voice speak your emotion. Kudos to Christine for letting that skill show.

I can say honestly that I searched for a weakness on this CD in hopes that this review would come out a bit more even, but I had difficulty. There are certain artists that provide positive consistency throughout their releases. I usually find something unpolished or "needing work" in everything I listen to, but I thoroughly enjoyed this effort from start to finish. It's soothing, strong, and emotive.