Speak Deluxe – Marla Mase
Music Artist: Marla Mase
Music Album: SPEAK Deluxe
Record Label: Self-Released
|Speak (reprise)||Marla Mase|
|Piece of Peace||Marla Mase|
|Open Up My Heart||Marla Mase|
|New Cell Phone||Marla Mase|
|Queen Of Imperfection||Marla Mase|
|She Hooked Him Up||Marla Mase|
|Divine Restlessness||Marla Mase|
|Kill Love||Marla Mase|
|Dance The Tango||Marla Mase|
|AnnaRexia – Bill Laswell Dubmix||Marla Mase|
1. Speak (reprise)
“Speak (reprise)” introduces Marla Mase as just as much shaman woman as artist, activist as musician. Between the prog rock guitars, the frantic percussion, and Mase’s chants, grunts and screams, it’s enough to trigger goosebumps in even the most resistant music listener.
2. Piece of Peace
Bring on the punk rock. After the proggy opener, Marla introduces us to her punk/rock and roll side, one that we’ll see more than a few times on “SPEAK Deluxe”. The message is downright human and brave, and Marla isn’t afraid to crack the voice or get raspy either. The gang and backup vocals really bring this track to a moving crescendo, and the desperation is evident.
3. Open Up My Heart
Enter spoken word artist, Marla Mase. With a chord structure similar at times to The Beatles “Julia” as Mase sings “Free Me”, “Open Up My Heart” is a call to action to oneself, and an absorbing story that doesn’t betray the impact of the opening tracks.
“Lioness” sounds like a sister track to “Speak (reprise)”, albeit with a different perspective. It contains some of the best poetry on the album, and manages to be at once fun and intensely angry. Think “Liar” by Rollins Band….and wait for the roar.
5. New Cell Phone
Commentary on our culture’s obsession with technology and the minute details of our own lives/egos, smartly expressed over a slow burning beat.
6. Queen Of Imperfection
A definite 70’s rock and roll/punk vibe on “Queen Of Imperfection” that reminds the listener of Patti Smith. Definitely one of the album’s strongest tracks, and could serve as an anthem of sorts for the honest woman.
7. She Hooked Him Up
It has a beautiful chorus, we see yet another side of the artist, singing softly over a funk groove.
8. Divine Restlessness
“Divine Restlessness” is something most people experience, but it’s not often expressed. While it’s not the strongest song on the release, the lyrics are relate-able and refreshing.
9. Anna Rexia
Taking on the public’s rather light and mocking perception of anorexia, this track finds Marla Mase teaming up with Garrison Hawk from Bill Laswell’s Method of Defiance. It’s a disorienting track to listen to in a way, because of it’s eerily political lyrics coupled with it’s very happy reggae musical backdrop. This actually helps the uniqueness. Picture Rage Against the Machine over, say, jazz.
10. Kill Love
A gothic love song with a surprisingly hypnotic chorus that reminds the listener of “Summertime”, making the counter-intuitive lyrics all the more impressive.
Handdrums, angelic vocals, and free flowing spoken word lead the listener to a spot in the clouds.
12. Dance The Tango
Another dark tale, this time over a swinging Americana/pop/rock beat presenting the meaning of living rather than the surface of it.
“Smithereens” could be classified as a ballad, and it succeeds, dropping the activism in favor of direct communication with a loved one.
The original version of “Scream (reprise)” heard earlier in the release. Not as explosive, but a worthwhile listen on it’s own merit.
A rock and roll anthem that could have been well placed early in the album. The chorus is fun and addictive.
16. AnnaRexia – Bill Laswell Dubmix
A dub mix of “AnnaRexia” that, while it doesn’t add anything to the original, is an interesting listen on it’s own.
Marla Mase is sitting on quite the powder keg with her new album “SPEAK Deluxe”, an offering brimming with passion, anger, pain, wisdom, and compassion. What was the last album you heard that you could honestly say that about? Embracing everything from rock and roll, punk and reggae to spoken word, electronic, and downtempo music, Marla Mase will appeal to fans of Patti Smith, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, PJ Harvey and Ian Dury. While there are a few slow points, there are no misses, and it’s easy to see that Marla Mase’s music and message is poised to spread in an industry starved for meaning.
Check out Marla Mase’s websites at: http://marlamase.com/ and www.facebook.com/pages/Marla-Mase/170044966351982.