Album Review: ‘Black Heart,’ White Widow

David Rogers

Carla Patullo, known professionally as White Widow, doesn’t make you wait long to get to the heart of what her most recent release “Black Heart,” is going to be about: pain, anguish, anger and missed opportunities.

Witness these lyrics from the first track, “Give or Take”: “You gave me something, just to take it away.” The track opens with and equally haunting guitar riff and a primal scream and doesn’t let go the rest of the way.

Another track with an equally blunt message is “Quitter” which opens with the lyrics: “You light me like a cigarette, burn me in the dark,” and then suggests the subject of the song do something that’s physically impossible.

For most of the 10-track album, it seems as if the music is merely a vehicle for listeners to travel into the inner workings of her soul. At times it’s a bumpy ride with some detours including an uninspiring cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Lady From the Mountain.”  But the strong songs far outnumber the less exciting ones. Two catchy examples are “In Your Life,” and “I Break,” which presents the Austin, Texas, resident at her most melodic.

White Widow is pretty much a one-spider band on this CD, writing, producing and performing everything. There are times were the album could have used another voice or two as there’s little variation in tempo and feel. The lack of a full drum kit is also noticeable and lends to the need for a little more variety. She’s currently on the road with a backing band. [Upcoming shows include appearances in Springfield, Mass., June 12; Danbury, Conn. June 18; Cleveland, June 21; and Chicago, June 24].

But that’s a small complaint for what is truly a heart-wrenching and profound CD, providing a worthwhile and rewarding journey to listeners.

“Black Heart,” Tullo Tunes Records, 2009