Maria Mena is a gorgeous 18-year-old Norwegian songwriter. Her musical talent was discovered by her drummer father when she was just 11 years old. She was singing a song she'd written herself, sitting on a bus, travelling between her muso father's gigs.
Like Alanis Morrisette and other chick pop singer/songwriters before her, Maria is mature for her years, writing thoughtful lyrics full of amusing navel gazing (which is ok, since she has a VERY nice navel indeed).
Unlike Britney and other by-products of the Family Values industry, Mena's not cynically selling her "innocence". Nor is she clinging to it. Instead she's sharing it. Her almost childlike honesty is enough to make you a little uncomfortable at times.
Musically, she's well produced, but nothing too exciting. It's her lyrics that catch your attention. On the quirky love song "You're the only one", Maria exposes her insecurities about a guy she likes: "I hope you can forgive me/for that time when I put my hand between your legs/And said it was small/'Cause it's really not - At all". Odd but real stuff like this really sets her apart - it's so different from the formulaic patter of so many other teen stars.
But what really distinguishes Maria from the teen-pop pack is her vocal talent. Her powerful but smooth voice is supple, yet free of pyrotechnics and silly affectations.
If she pushes herself beyond self obsession and writes about more than her feelings, she could become something very special. Right now, Maria Mena is just welcome proof that the mainstream of pop needn't be dominated by musical morons. And she's even nicer to look at than she is to listen to - the perfect package for the Mtv age.- Jean Barker She's a thinker, smoothing her bare-it-all lyrics with vocal understatement, and it's hard not to like her for it.- Amazon.com"...as the album progresses you soon realise that as good as they are in lyrical content, listeners will soon be asking themselves, Is this a quieter version of Alanis Morrissette or a dolled up Avril Lavigne?"- Sergio Davids for iAfrica.com
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