british album reviews (cause and effect).. they´re great, yay!

a friend found these reviews of c&a on some british websites and i thought i´d share them with you.
LOVE that i´m getting props for my lyrics and that they compare me to "florence and the machine"  (a personal favorite) LOVE LOVE LOVE! -they´re BRITISH websites eh;) that has to count for something;)


SOULFUL and sweet, Maria Mena has a voice which has the power to both seduce and bewitch.

The Norwegian singer-songwriter's fifth album Cause and Effect is a beautifully crafted smorgasbord of catchy melodies and stirring ballads.

Opening with the aptly titled Power Trip Ballad ? all marching drums, tinkling piano and angry vocals ? the record is a story of love, break-up and self-empowerment.

Taking the listener on a journey through the heart, it begins with the upbeat Belly Up and All This Time, before the mood saddens with the moving I'm On Your Side and dreamily melancholy Where Were You.

Maria's voice is a mix of Alanis Morrisette and Norah Jones, with that slightly quirky pitch and tone which is de rigeur with today's singer sonwriters.

But her eerily beautiful songs are not only a testament to her extraordinary talent as a writer but also as a singer.

Already winning a norwegian Grammy for Best Female Artist and an EMA nomination for Best Scandinavian Artist, all at the tender age of 23, Maria is clearly an artist with a promising career ahead and I have the feeling the best is yet to come.

Maria Mena: Cause and Effect. Released August 16.




Norway's answer to Florence and The Machine strikes pop gold on her third album.

Female singer-songwriters seem to be pretty much all that gets signed these days, call it a media manufactured trend if you will (cause it is) but it can't be said that the movement hasn't spawned some excellent music. From Florence and her machine to Bat and her lashes there has been an abundance of quality thrust our way from the get-go (lets just forget about Duffy eh?). It's true that for every Florence and Marina there are a thousand Pixie Lott's but thankfully Norwegian songstress Maria Mena falls vaguely into the former category.

The sound is heavily indebted to the flame haired Florence (albeit without her more enjoyable, idiosyncratic tendencies) while the vocals are pure sky-scraping Bjorkisms with the roughly hewn melodicism of Janis Joplin. That's not to say Maria's a one-trick pony though, 'Cause and Effect' shows a playful side to Naomi's downcast style with the string drenched atmospheric leanings of Jeff Buckley's seminal 'Grace' album and some sharp, structural left-turns. The chorus is remarkably gentle but works well and the lyrics are particularly impressive, taking a popular subject and completely turning it on it's head. In fact lyrically Maria really has her moments, spattering her ruined love songs with flashes of bitter, caustic wit ("He allegedly fell for me, throughout an open window, cracked his chest to reveal his heart") which put her leagues ahead of the 'Marina's' and 'Coco's' of this world.

Unfortunately there are no real singles evident here, the closest thing Maria has to a potential single is the contemplative 'Belly' with it's insistent rhythm, infectious bass and faintly dissonant twists and turns, it's like Ellie Goulding without the bombast and it works well. It's a great track which really underlines Maria's talents but the lack of any real hook is a real blow to the songs commercial aspirations and much of what follows is positively pedestrian by comparison.

The best is most certainly saved for last here with subtle, aching 'Dear' acting as a dramatically sparse full stop at the tail end of a record brimming with barely contained angst. There's a gorgeous, folksy vibe here reminiscent of Nick Drake and it closes the record with a real sense of authority. It's a powerful statement from a powerful artist who obviously has alot to say and will almost certainly mature over time, a couple more hits wouldn't go amiss though for an act this obviously commercially primed.

Benjamin Hiorns




6 kommentarer


Aug 18, 2010 kl.9:44 PM

WOw, gratulerer! Så utrolig bra! :) Du er fantastisk!

Lene J

Aug 18, 2010 kl.9:44 PM

Så bra! :) Fullt fortjent da, albumet ditt er ekstremt bra! :)


Aug 18, 2010 kl.11:44 PM

Så kjekt, Maria! :)

Jeg er glad på dine vegne!

'a beautyfully crafted smorgasbrod' haha :)


Aug 18, 2010 kl.11:45 PM

...beautifully, kanskje ;)


Aug 19, 2010 kl.9:50 AM

Those are great reviews but, man they just seem to compare and compare and compare everyone with everyone!! It allmost looks like a recipe: take a little bit of this, a hinch of that, put in some more of that, mix it, put it in your cd-player and let it spin and whollah there this girl form Norway named Maria Mena!! Enjoy!


Aug 19, 2010 kl.7:56 PM

What more could you want? ;)

Matthew Jenkin says it in a pat and right way. Your lyrics and your fine sense for tunes which get under the skin are unique!!

Believe that i said nearly the same to you not long ago ;))


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