Simple Cure – Mayssa Karaa (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If you think that pop music has few new places to explore then the debut album from Mayssa Karaa might just change your mind and, if needed, even restore your faith in the genre. Right from the start Broken Lines, essentially a cool, modern pop song, has a different quality to it, something that sets it apart from the usual fare, something alluring and unexpected running through it. Something that sets the tone for the album as a whole. Music can only ever be a reflection of the artist making it and it is Mayssa Karaa’s Lebanese heritage that brings something new and different to this luxurious set of songs and it is a combination of ultra modern western pop and more traditional middle eastern sounds that creates her signature sound. It also says something about the ever shrinking nature of the world, that from the increased merging of cultures and creeds new musical ideas, new fusions of sound, new musical styles emerge.

Her lead single Versailles appears here in two forms but it is the remixed version which is the more intriguing of the two, more trippy, more staccato, more spacious underlining its heady, exotic vibe even more than the original and the title track is a dynamic and drama filled song, a mix of sleek grooves and brooding sonic forces.

Got That Feeling is an obvious single, a powerhouse song and again that perfect blend of western dance-pop and eastern vibes, all energy and euphoria and her cover of Jefferson Airplanes iconic Somebody To Love is just amazing, loosing none of the original substance but taking it into a slow and sultry place and with a vocal performance that is the highlight of the album. A performance both full of Grace and effortlessly Slick. (Puns intended.)

Debut albums are often the best chance to make that vital first impression and as first impressions go it is hard not to fall for Simple Cure’s sonic charms and it will certainly make the pop-picker and music pundit alike sit up and take notice of this beguiling new artist.

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