George Varga - Pop Music Critic / San Diego Union Tribune Thursday, June 22, 2006: 'Some day the masses will appreciate Danielle LoPresti's Gifts. Danielle LoPresti is such a tireless booster of the local music scene that it often overshadows her own work. As the driving force behind the Indie By Design concert series and the annual festival of the same name, she has helped spotlight myriad other artists from across the county and beyond. A champion of independent music and cultural diversity, she is also the co-founder of Say It Records. The 6-year-old San Diego label is the home to LoPresti and her band, The Masses, whose first two albums were 2003's '22 Mountains' and 2001's 'Dear Mr. Penis Head.' (The latter's title was inspired by a Los Angeles music biz bigwig, who told LoPresti she would never get a major record deal if she didn't emulate Sade or Britney Spears.) L.A.'s loss is our gain. LoPresti and The Masses demonstrate this yet again on their new album, 'Outloud,' ... It showcases her increasingly assured vocals and songwriting skills. Yet, while she and her group clearly can rock with finesse and fervor, LoPresti shines brightest on the album's ballads. The deeply moving 'Role Mama' and 'Sanctuary' are songs Alicia Keys or India.Arie would be proud to claim as their own. Then, there's the bluesy, slow-building 'Lean,' which comes closer to capturing the mystical qualities of prime Led Zeppelin than anything I can recall by Ann Wilson and Heart. And the comparatively up-tempo 'Standing On Shoulders' and 'Patchwork' reaffirm that not copying Sade or Britney was the smartest thing LoPresti could do.' -------- 'This is an independent release by a local artist. Keep reminding yourself of that while you're listening, because this new album by Danielle Lo Presti and the Masses is so polished, so focused and so very confident that the experience of hearing it is very much like listening to a release by an established star with a lavish recording budget. Alternatingly moody and powerful, introspective and assertive, tender and angry, 'Outloud' is nothing if not poised. Lo Presti's third release (her first recording has apparently yet to be released) has a touch of that swagger that marks an artist with a vision and the know-how to pull it off. LoPresti is a powerhouse singer, her band endlessly adept at creating a framework for her to work within. Stylistically, the band's approach is broad, inclusive and far-ranging. Listen to the dozen songs on this release, and you'll hear influences ranging from '70s arena rock to punk to industrial to power pop to glam. Lyrically, Lo Presti and Co. Are hard-hitting and frequently political, but always heartfelt and rarely preachy. The end result is that you can disagree with a song's message yet still love the song.Not to mention the monumentally talented crew that created it.' -Jim Trageser, North County Times.
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