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D.C. soprano Sally Martin fearlessly cast a wide net when selecting the 20-song program for her self-produced debut CD. Journeys contains Broadway and Hollywood show tunes; French and German songs; compositions by Amanda McBroom, Craig Carnelia, and other cabaret songwriters; vintage Tin Pan Alley hits; and recent pop songs by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Julie Gold. Martin is at her best when most restrained, in wryly comic numbers (“Doin’ It for Defense,” “Someone Is Sending Me Flowers”) and down-to-earth ballads (“Ship in a Bottle,” “Heaven”). On showier pieces, she tends to overtax her high tones, causing intermittent shrillness and pitch problems. Although she is consistently attentive to lyrics, some of the material ill-suits her legit style, notably her misguidedly au lait version of the bluesy “Black Coffee.” Her inclusion of four pieces sung in French seems ostentatious, and her decision to sing “Falling in Love Again” in a German accent is bewildering, unless the intention is to parody Marlene Dietrich. Bob Tartaglia’s layered synthesizer orchestrations, ostensibly designed to make the CD sound like an expensive production, have the reverse effect. Journeys indicates that, if backed by a sensitive acoustic piano trio and interpreting straightforward songs that emphasize her strengths, Martin’s talent would make a musically and emotionally satisfying statement.Joel E. Siegel