Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Angelyna Martinez: Labor of Love

Angelyna Martinez is like caviar: delectably exotic, but best enjoyed in small batches. The San Antonio-born Martinez bears a striking vocal resemblance to the young, pop-hit-spewing Cyndi Lauper of the 1980s. Like the Lauper of old, there’s the hint of an unfettered little girl-a sort of smarter, hipper Helen Kane-that infects everything she sings. For a track or two it is, as with Lauper, delightfully fresh and different. Ten consecutive variations, slight as they are, on the same girlish theme does, though, grow wearying. It largely comes down to choice of material. When Martinez opts for upbeat sentiments well suited to her sunshiny style-as on “What a Wonderful World,” “Miss Celie’s Blues” and, most distinctly, the cotton-candy glee of “Pure Imagination”-the results are lovely. But when the mood turns darker (“Stormy Weather,” “God Bless the Child”) or sexier (“Fever,” “The Lady Is a Tramp”), the feeling is of a pretty young lass playing dress-up in a more mature woman’s lyrics.

Originally Published