18 Oct 2018
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Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff - Album Review: When I Am Gone

16 Jan 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton
The piano is an often under-recognised and under-utilised instrument. Even though the majority of musicians in this modern day will use a keyboard, it's often to play more "exotic" sounding instruments. But there is a great strength and stability to a solid, weighty piano sound, and it gives a brilliant opening to the album. Houston, We Have A Problem has lyrical content that is influenced by 1969 hit Space Oddity, even naming the artist David Bowie in the lyrics. Both angelic and haunting, the vibe changes in the second track, Your Guitar, which carries on with the strong piano presence in a tranquil, easy-listening lounge sound. Vocals are brilliantly clear and seductive, with some nice brass pieces in the middle. The horn accompaniments do, however, come across too smooth and sound like an electronic replication; lacking the sharpness that would really make the track pop.

Marina Bloom has a beautiful voice, capable of astonishing clarity and pitch precision, as well as a thick, and voluminous sound that is similar to the tones of artists such as Dido and Jewel. The album changes instrumentally with Me, Myself And I, with a much lighter, guitar-centric sound, and some unexpected power and distortion later in the track. A power that isn't mirrored in the vocals, which instead remains consistently soft and fragile until the end of the track.

When I Am Gone as an album, has an emotional quality to it that feeds into the appeal of the tracks with storytelling lyrics. Each song is its own story, and the style of music changes to match the content of the lyrics; from lounge and pop-rock, to electronic and power ballads, there is a large variety of musical genres incorporated into the sound that makes up Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff. The album ends with a more minimal sound in Long Distance Love and Heroes, primarily comprising of piano and vocal harmonies. Tracks that leave no room for faults and flaws, nothing to hide and quivers and wavers in the voice; and it is done competently.

The opening track, Houston, We Have A Problem, is the stand out track on the album, the transcendent meandering track that lulls you into a sense of calm and peacefulness, has a sense of balance that I can't fault. Every layer adds to the track in a positive way; even the electric guitar which should, by all means, be out-of-place.


Review written by Alex Moulton
 

About Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff

Marina Bloom and her band Moving Stuff are an experienced group of musicians of diverse backgrounds playing an eclectic blend of original songs.

Marina grew up in Russia singing and performing the traditional songs of her homeland. She continued singing after migrating to New Zealand. In the last couple of years she discovered songwriting and started collaborating with a local lyricist, Michael Davis and they’ve now penned over 60 songs, many of which have been recorded.

Her debut album When I Am Gone was released in Dec 2016 via New Zealand label Lost By Design. Currently getting a regular airplay on Radio NZ.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff

Releases

When I Am Gone
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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