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MarieMarie “O” – The Album

MarieMarie’s music rains down on her listeners, note after note, drop after drop. None resembles the other. Yet together they form an unmistakable unit. Vocals and analog instruments, sonically manipulated almost beyond recognition, are melded with electronic beats on her new album. What remains is a genuine outcry, genuine suffering. For example when a sound-modulated guitar virtually wheezes, screams, cries into MarieMarie’s siren vocals – in “Do It Like A Ninja”. Or when a downright rearing rhythm infuses the stoic repetition of a piano figure, as if to revive the dying love MarieMarie sings of in “The Chorus Is Dead”. With lyrics vividly drawing attention to the end of a love and its hurtful tremor, while the supposedly reviving rhythm more and more resembles execution drums.
With skillful command of drama, MarieMarie develops music reminiscent of a soundtrack without the need of a movie since the images are evoked in the listeners’ heads: volatile, non-palpable but powerful in their effect. And this applies to MarieMarie’s music as well – it’s intimate and remains remote at the same time. Music that appears to reside in the midst of life, yet always leaves the protagonist with a feeling of loneliness.
Rain is falling just like the album’s protagonists, who fall without ever touching the ground. This is not least due to the delicately crafted arrangements, whose lavishness derives from the various small accents allowing many an instrument and many a voice to appear but briefly. Voices, by the way, that use their performance like another instrument in a big orchestra. “Machine” and “Machine.My Inner Echo” display her command of the matter; two versions of the same song, however voided in its echo, almost obscenely simple, she touches us with a broken intimacy.
MarieMarie rounds off her new album perfectly with a grand orchestra, whose strings seem to release listeners with an intonated happy ending. As if the rain from the opener had long grown into a calm river from which the protagonist finally draws the strength to let go. But the recollection of a small piano figure in the finale, a Schumann quote, already points towards a new threat of relapse, just like the entire album consistently presents love as also being a curse from which the lover tries to sever herself in vain. Therefore, the music is able to tell of the fractions and dissonances with finesse, slumbering in its tantalizing and flattering harmonies. Surrendering to them not out of a disappointed strive for harmony but out of delight with those skewed notes that question the reality of the harmonies but even more so reveal another, no less desirable, reality, whose beauty and dignity are hardly surpassable.
Such beauty would be the river at the end of the album, future, in which the next obscuring clouds are already reflected and will soon be emptying their rain in again.
Just like the album virtually rises from the void in “Favourite Rain”, it ends in it, abducting us into the unknown. In between we experience a multi-faceted, almost schizophrenic sound narrative between downbeat pop, R&B and art music. At a time when only tracks and clicks count, this is an artfully crafted album that is worth listening to from the first song to the last.

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