If nothing else, the first season of NBC’s The Voice showed the rest of America what a lot of people in the Northwest already knew: Vicci Martinez is a damn fine talent who is going places. When she comes to Eugene’s WOW Hall Sept. 20 in support of her latest release, Vicci, our fair city will be treated to an undeniable mix of groovy rock, soulful ballads and upbeat pop that will leave little doubt in your mind as to why she ended up being one of the finalists in that competition.
Martinez’s performances are noteworthy because of her penchant for variety, something that is on full display on Vicci. “Stop Pretending” is the sort of engaging pop-rock that radio loves because of its message of being true to yourself, while “Come Along” is a more serious, mid-tempo number extolling the virtues of living your life to the fullest. And in addition to her songs not sounding like mailed-in clones of each other, she even dodges this same landmine in the vocal category by restraining herself in certain songs and belting it out in others. The ballad to her late father, “Let Go,” could have easily seen her losing control of her emotions and screaming for the heavens by the end, but she wisely chooses not to do that and the song benefits. On the other end of the spectrum, however, there are moments during the chorus of the empowering “I Can Love” where she confidently channels her inner Christina Aguilera and hits some aggressive, show-stopping notes, lest we forget that she has some serious range.
Martinez will be taking her love of variety one step further on this West Coast tour, as all of her performances will be acoustic. We should be in for a real treat.
Vicci Martinez plays 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 20, at WOW Hall, $12-$20.