Nashville alt-pop act Caroline Romano traces a journey of self-discovery and growth, littered equally with hope and misery, on debut album Oddities & Prodigies, carried by catchy pop-tinged soundscapes, a powerful voice and poignant yet witty song writing.
Opening with the title track, Romano begins by showcasing her penchant for quirky lyricism, revealing one of many sides that unfold with each note of the versatile collection of 16 songs. The album manages move seamlessly from delicate, tearful ballads into anthemic, pop-punk productions, as she taps into her innermost thoughts – both good and bad.
From tearing herself down and nit-picking her own flaws ruthlessly on tracks like “Dramatic” and “I’m Bad,” to channeling more mature introspection across the gentle, piano-led “Perhaps It’s Mine,” where she wonders if she came on too strong in a relationship, the 20-year-old delves into relatable moments that weave emotional maturity together with the vulnerability of being young.
Stepping away from self-deprecation on the soft stylings of “Grocery Store,” the rising singer shows her talent for finding moments of joy in simple, sometimes unconventional moment as she captures the comfort she feels among strangers in a grocery store – which blends into acoustic number “Lonely Interlude,” which encapsulates the loneliness on the other side of being surrounded by people.
This joy stretches into other carefree tracks such as “Ireland in 2009” and "The Hypothetical," where Romano brings vibrant tales of love to life before looking ahead to a better future on “Leaving Wednesday,” taking us far from the youthful insecurities nestled within other tracks of the album.
All in all, Oddities & Prodigies manages to balance gloomier times in life within joyous interludes as she taps into a stripped-back vocal style rooted in honesty and comforting vibes.Having already established herself as the voice and heart of an anxious generation, Caroline Romano proves her ability to move through the highs and lows of life with an ease and personable warmth that sets her apart among many Gen Z pop acts.