Maria Mena isn't your typical cookie cutter star. Although compared to the likes of Michelle Branch, I put her in even another catagory than the typical guitar-rock chick. Her original voice and music have given a new twist on mainstream pop/rock. The fact she hails from the almost unheard of Norway makes her even more desirable. International breakthroughs are always nice to hear about, especially in Ms. Mena's case.
"You're the Only One", the quirky first single may turn off many consumers for obvious reasons. The song is very different, uncompairable to anything I have yet to hear. While she fails to actually "sing" the song, the music and lyrics shine through in a very positive manner. While I have to agree this was a terrible choice as a first single, it was able to raise a few eyebrows with the message of each verse. An acoustic version is also avalible at select stores which also puts a nice touch on this song. While it may take a while to get used to, it's a staple for any Maria Mena show.
The CD is filled with a bunch of amazingly written and produced songs. "Blame it On Me," the second single, is much more mainstream with the Branch/Lavigne staple on it. The originality of Maria's voice is evident while listening to "Fragile (Free)" and "Just A Little Bit".
The highlights of the album include the ballads which are strikingly haunting. "Sorry" gives Maria tears each time she performs it and I can understand why. Beautifully written, Maria may not have the powerhouse voice of Christina Aguilera - but she has the look, style, and ground to pull it off Aguilera-style and 10 times beyond.
There isn't one track on "White Turns Blue" that will get a "skip" button from me. The album, not surprisngly, hit #1 on Billboard HeatSeekers chart in its first week proving that Maria's crossover to the states was very much needed. Her live show is also very entertaining as she brings along her acoustic vibe and belts out her hits along with covers of "What a Wonderful World" and "Respect".
This album is suggested for any music listener in general. There is no way to catagorize Maria's fans - male, female, pop/rock, Alanis/Michelle/Avril fans could eat this one up. I expect big things from Maria Mena in the future.