Monday, 7 May 2012
Jodie Marie's 'Mountain Echo'
The enticing vocals of Miss Marie are enough to sell this album by itself. It's unquestionable that she has a beautiful voice with the ability to seep across many genres from pop into folk, jazz and blues. One could argue she has a tone (especially in 'Greeney-Blue') that matches Laura Marling (which believe you me is a compliment and a half from me as I am her NO. 1 FAN). This is really explored in the album. From the more bluesy tracks ('Singing Black Canvas') to the jazzier ('I Got You') and just for good measure some folk ('Greeney-Blue'), all tracks incorporate her abilities as a vocalist to showcase the extend of her voice.
This however does sometimes act as a tad of downfall to the album. The change of direction in genres confuses me slightly. Undoubtedly, genres such as bluegrass, folk and blues have similar ties with each other...but I feel that if there was more binding of direction, the album may sound slightly more developed and perhaps mature. The album is one which shows some real highlights that sparkle just that little bit more than other, weaker tracks ('Remember Me') where there's simply not enough musical development.
Saying that though, it doesn't stop me from enjoying the range of this genre-jumbled album. 'Greeney-Blue' for instance is a beautiful soft folk tune with lazy guitar accompaniment and a strong level of command in the vocal. 'What Would It Take?' matches this similar style but not to the quality or maturity that 'Greeney- Blue' has.
Upbeat, classy and jazzy 'I Got You', uses huge orchestration inclusive of strings, many guitar parts and an organ to really add va va voom. Vocals let rip here which I enjoy after the contrast of Greeney-Blue beforehand. However, I'm uncertain as to whether the vocals are still big enough to match the sheer size of the instrumentation. I would've also really liked maybe a break-down in the middle to add an extra section and some suspension to the track. However, I consider it to be a well composed, catchy and finger clickin' good! Similarly, largely orchestrated 'On The Road' is a delightfully bright, exciting and catchy gem which matches Marie's vocals in all it's grandeur.
'Like a Runaway' is a very Alison Kraus-like-country-come-bluegrass track. The use of country electric guitar, harmonies on vocals, brushes on drums and saloon styled piano helps point this album is a slightly alternative light. I think the contrast in these genres, such as the pop-ier track 'Numb' goes to show just how well the album is produced. Not only is the delicacies of Marie's vocals captured well ('Greeney-Blue'), but the right feel for the more country orientated tracks and prioritising of instrumentation against effects and the placement of vocals has really been produced very well.
My fave tracks are; 'Greeney', 'On the Road' and 'I Got You'.
Like Jodie Marie? Then why not try Lianne La Havas, Honey Ryder or Marching Donald?