Way Point Entertainment, 2006
A Word: Promising
"Although Cali is a self-confessed lover of dance
music, this reviewer would question if that is the
strongest card she has to play. As you listen to the
R&B flavored 'Shine' or pop-driven tunes
such as 'Just Because' and the Scott Krippayne-authored
'Wonderful Crazy', Cali climbs from being
an ordinary singer to being a very, very promising
It seems as though
every decade has its teen music idols and our time is no different.
Cali, a favorite of the Radio Disney Network in the US, has
jumped into the spotlight to join contemporaries such as Katelyn
Tarver and Miley Cyrus. Whether these young women eventually
become as well known as predecessors such as, Rachael Lampa,
Rebecca St James and Stacie Orrico remains to be seen.
Tarver’s music pulls more at the heartstrings with love
songs whereas Cali’s tunes are more firmly planted in
dance/pop. For the most part Cali’s songs appeal to
the mostly pre-teenage set. Her music taps into the five year
old through fourteen-year-old girl audience. Think of Cali
as ZoeGirl divided by three.
Cali who co-wrote six of the tracks from her self-titled CD
takes pride in the fact that her songs go beyond mere casual
dance music and are considered good enough to be used in dance
routines. She says:“My music has a hardcore good beat.
I am trying to bring that pop element and putting a message
behind it. I want it (her music) to stand out and make a difference.”
Get Up, the number one track, has a companion video
that will soon appear on the Gospel Music Channel and can
be viewed on her website or myspace site. The video was shot
in a small town outside Nashville. The theme involves the
young singer in trying to lift people’s spirits by encouraging
them to get up and dance. The song becomes a metaphor for
triumphing over life’s difficult situations. Cali says:
“Get Up is one of my favourite songs because
it is fun, energetic and you can dance to it.”
The techno grooved Come Go With Me with its programmed
strings and funky megaphone vocals along with the harder-edged
Can It Be should attract a stronger following than
the lead track Get It Up. The two songs evoke a stronger
emotional response. Cali also pushes out more with Come
Go With Me and Can It Be. This CD was designed
primarily for a general market audience but Can It Be
presents the boldest statement of faith. The lyrics contrast
two different ways of approaching life. The first approach
is to struggle alone, while slipping “on the ladder
of faith”. The second approach is to turn to someone
who is always there and can be relied on. Although the song
makes no specific mention of Christ or God, it does open the
door for the singer to share her faith when it is appropriate
to do so.
“If I could, in a perfect world I would want to share
my life with every single fan that I come into contact with.
I do care about whom they are, what they are going through
and want to be there beside them,” Cali says.
The young singer is not the least bit intimidated about serving
as a role model for today’s youth. “That doesn’t
scare me at all. I want to be a role model for kids out there.
It is pretty exciting and is something that I am willing to
take on,” she says.
Cali also is not afraid to be raw and emotionally bare before
her fans. In her song, Are You Listening, the singer
asks difficult questions and wonders aloud why answers aren’t
forthcoming. With a good remix, Are You Listening could
be a blockbuster hit for both general market and Christian
radio. Cali’s emotive vocals combine with thoughtful
lyrics. What is needed on this song is a stronger supporting
cast of musicians.
The CD is a photo album of Cali’s life. “It tells
my whole story. I really put myself and my stories out there,”
she says. The song Sound So Good provides a musical
biopic of her teenage years. “It talks about a relationship
I had with a guy in high school. It wasn’t a healthy
relationship but I kept running back to him even though I
knew he wasn’t fulfilling what I needed. That (the song)
is really special to me because it tells my story,”
says the singer.
The closing track Never Let Me Go brings her passionate
heartfelt vocals to the forefront once again and is a tune
that holds a lot of promise.
Although Cali is a self-confessed lover of dance music, this
reviewer would question if that is the strongest card she
has to play. As you listen to the R&B flavored Shine
or pop-driven tunes such as Just Because and the
Scott Krippayne-authored Wonderful Crazy, Cali climbs
from being an ordinary singer to being a very, very promising
young artist. With the dance tracks, her voice often takes
a backseat to music that frankly is quite ordinary. With the
aforementioned songs, you get an opportunity to hear her vocals
and the lady has a very pretty voice.
After Cali’s publicist, Brian Mayes arranged a meeting
between the young singer and the Disney Corporation, the entertainment
conglomerate agreed to bring her into the fold as one of their
A Cali fan club was founded by one die hard fan and she is
besieged both by mail and in person at her concerts. Fans
seek out her advice on a variety of subjects including boy
problems, self esteem challenges and spiritual issues.
The Christian music scene and our youth could not ask for
a better role model than a young woman who volunteers her
time with Young Life, an organisation that goes into high
schools to establish relationships with students. As Cali
says: “We get to know the kids on a personal level so
we can earn the right to lead them to Christ.”