Nicole-Marie Orchestrates a Symphony of Sound on Her Latest Album
Nicole-Marie is a hearing-impaired singer who has absolutely destroyed any preconceptions that may surround anyone who is faced with such a hardship. She is proficient in saxophone, clarinet, piano and guitar and if that weren’t enough, she is a fantastic singer and songwriter to boot. Not only does she write and perform her own music, but she enjoys collaborating with other artists in creating their music as well. Her newest release is the fourth album in her repertoire entitled The Music Our Love Makes is a fusion of folk, country and alternative rock that meshes beautifully well. To top off the number of genres she’s incorporated into this LP, she’s incorporated a myriad of instruments and musicians as well. With multiple guitarists, drummers and even rappers, The Music Our Love Makes is a modern symphony for the ears. But enough of my gushing, on to the review.
The first song to stand out is “Movin on.” The song starts off as a piano driven country song: very simple ballad sound with classic melancholy fiddle accompaniment. She cheekily sings “I’m getting strong/and writing songs about movin’ on,” which demonstrates that she has a sense of humor about the situation despite it hurting initially. Moreover, the song reflects that as it shifts from a lament to an upbeat hoedown, showing that she is in fact, “getting strong.”
“All it Takes to Fly” is a more contemporary ballad. This song heavily features acoustic guitar played in a Latin style and very simple percussion. The chorus builds up into a beautiful crescendo of string instruments and Nicole-Marie leading the way with her subtle vocal performance. She has a rather soft tone to her voice, which makes it easy for her to come across as genuine in her lyrics.
As such, it is unsurprising that her voice is so well suited for country style music. For example, “Forever an Ocean,” reminiscent of a Rascal Flatts hit, brings forth feelings of regret but cherished memories. The electric guitar gets its chance to shine between choruses. What is most impressive are the harmonies Nicole-Marie performs with herself. Not only are they beautiful harmonies, but then you remember that she is hearing impaired and is mopping the floor with the vast majority of current country acts. Honestly, modern country music needs to take a page from this woman’s book.
“Loose End” is a much needed, upbeat track that provides the warranted break from the previous string of slow, emotional ballads. It’s a feel-good song where we get to see the funnier side of Nicole-Marie. You can definitely imagine yourself driving down a country road with the top down to this song; with wind in your hair, and a cowboy hat of course.
The album’s last song follows the theme of modernizing country-folk music but it does so the best in my opinion. There is a clear connection between Nicole-Marie, California, and her begotten lover in “When California’s Gone.” However, it is unclear whether or not that is a positive affiliation with lyrics like “I hope it won’t be to long/ Till you finally come to love me/ When California’s gone.” Either way, it is very soothing despite the possibly depressing connotations behind the song.
My only complaint with this album is that it all melds together a bit too well. This can be good in some ways, like the fact that songs like “Loose End” stand out more as a result. However, the problem is that it makes the songs seem to have less meaning if they are all slow and gloomy. Nevertheless, this is a great album that puts a great spin on classic country/folk music. Nicole-Marie’s ability to bring together these amazing sounds is evidence of her passion and talent when it comes to music.