When you’re young, female, and a singer, there’s this dreaded stigma that automatically gets attached to you. And in this day and age of pre-packaged pop music, it’s hard to establish yourself as anything else. Luckily, Maria Mena’s debut CD “White Turns Blue” is anything but pre-packaged pop music and she seems to take her cue from artists like Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple as opposed to Britney, Christina or Jessica Simpson.
The opening song on the album, You’re The Only One, is also the first single. Sadly, this is a pretty formulaic pop song that doesn’t really distinguish Maria form the Avril’s, Michelle Branch’s and Ashley Simpson’s of the current music scene. Fear not though, because track 2, Fragile (Free), is a beautiful tune that really shows off Maria’s incredible singing ability. Track 3, Just A Little Bit, and track 4, Blame It On Me, are equally as good.
Things change a bit once you get to track 6, Take You With Me. It’s biting, powerful, and full of emotional energy. A few tracks later is #9, Shadow, perhaps my favorite on the entire album. It’s a brilliantly written and arranged ballad that just sucks you in. Immediately following is track 10, Your Glasses. Like track 6, this song is full of energy and emotion, but with much more anst and edge to it. It harkens back to when Alanis Morissette lit the music scene on fire with You Oughta Know. Granted, the lyrics are more tame and Maria isn’t as angry, but musically, the songs have similar styles and arrangements.
Overall, this disc, and Maria Mena, really impressed me. I can pop the CD in my player, press play, and listen to the whole thing from start to finish. Each song is so well crafted that the album just flows perfectly from one track to another.
**** (4 stars) / out of 5