If Michelle Branch and Norah Jones had a baby, she would sound just like Maria Mena. The 18 year-old singer/songwriter boasts that catchy song on the radio with all the run-on sentences and poetry-like fast speech. You’ve definitely heard it before. You know… that song? The one with the rapid lyrics? Oh, you know…
Ok, let me clear that up. People may get confused with the voice behind the song, “You’re The Only One,” wondering, “Where have I heard this girl before?” Well actually, unless you’re from Europe or someplace over there, chances are you might not have heard of Maria Mena. But that will soon change.
She’s sure to be a solid hit. Her album, White Turns Blue, contains all catchy tracks, from pop acoustic to soulful ballads, but all heartbreakingly honest. Yeah sure, her sound may be a bit typical to the Michelle Branch kind of crowd, but the words are hers alone. Most all the songs revolve around adolescence and the pains of growing up as well as the exhilaration of love and youth. In “Just a Little Bit,” Mena sings about the insecurities surrounding her as something many girls can relate to.
Not everything is all fluff and fritters however. “Blame It On Me,” about teenage rebellion, speaks of it from her father’s perspective- an interesting spin on the ever-mysterious relations between parents and their brats. “My Lullaby” is a yearning, breathy song to Mena’s mother about her parents’ divorce. Written when she was just 11, it definitely proves her chops as a musician and a singer. “Lose Control” also shows her flexibility as she dabbles into jazzy folk in this playful track. However, a personal favorite of mine is “Sorry.” I find it the most achingly truthful, saddening and emotionally revealing piece I’ve heard in the longest (this from a person who listens to emo) – “And I say, Baby, I feel stupid to call you but I’m lonely / and I don’t think you meant it when you said you couldn’t love me / and I thought maybe if I kissed the way you do you’d feel it too.” Her vocals have a bittersweet twang that you can picture her mouth forming within your mind from the clear sound that reverberates from the speakers.
This I surely recommend to anyone who enjoys folksy, acoustic pop. And to anyone who appreciates musical honesty. This girl is quite obviously talented, and however catchy and possibly annoying you may find her first single (“You’re The Only One”), believe me, her other stuff is much different and most definitely not annoying. But I can’t make any promises that they won’t get stuck in your head.