MARIE - MOUNTAIN ECHO
hearing single I Got You, I had high hopes for
Jodie Marie’s debut album. Unfortunately, it turns out to
be very much of a mixed bag, with no sense of direction and every
sense of outside interference to ensure that the album appeals
to the broadest and blandest audience tastes.
I Got You has a classy, retro (acid) jazz vibe
about it – it’s danceable, infectious, sophisticated…
the sort of thing you could almost picture someone performing
during the Sixties lounge world of Playboy After Dark.
Had the whole album been like this, I’d have no hesitation
in calling it one of the years best. But it’s not.
Instead, you get a mix of styles that feel like someone searching
for a sound. At its best, that includes the stripped back What
Would It Take?, benefiting from a lack of bombast, the
country-flavoured Like A Runaway and the title
track, which although somewhat overdone it its striving to be
epic, does at least feel like there is genuine emotion involved.
Remember Me also aims for a Dusty Springfield
sense of hugeness and almost achieves it
On the other hand, tracks like Numb – a
pseudo soul number with big sound and faux emoting suggest that
Marie is being pushed in bland direction of Adele or producer
Bernard Butler’s other discovery Duffy. And there’s
certainly money to be made appealing to the unadventurous tastes
of weekend supplement readers, as those tedious acts have shown
– but it’s not good music.
And there are too many middling tracks that lack vital energy,
emotion or raw authenticity. Shadows of Rain,
Greeney-Blue, Dandelion Wishes
and Single Blank Canvas are inoffensive but hardly
This is all rather frustrating, as Marie clearly has a great vocal
talent and shows what she could be capable of in the album’s
fleeting glimpses of brilliance, but the songs and the sense of
self are not there yet. Where she goes from here will be interesting
to see – the cool jazz route would seem to be the most artistically
valid direction, but I have a bad feeling that the people surrounding
her will be keen to push her into a safer, easier, more lucrative
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