MIC’s Listen to Norway series continues with Maria Mena’s second album 'Mellow'.
2004 will certainly be the year that dwarfs all previous ones in the life of Maria Mena:
Repetition of domestic success and large scale launch in America. Sic. Still only eighteen ‘Mellow’ is her second album to be released in Norway. Continuing and evolving the characteristic qualities of her first album, this years release has already become a huge success.
Maria’s music has an ability to hit most people –critics and plain folk alike- where it feels good and where it hurts, (i.e. the heart?) Hers is a kind of unscathed depiction of sorrow -sometimes with anguish in its undertow- but always saturated with the distinctly adolescent future-oriented serenity that includes hope verging on certainty. Maybe that’s why we all like her; she’s sure all will be well, for her and for all of us. Her melodies are plain and down to earth, but also instant and extremely catchy; a combination that sets her music apart from designed pop and makes it convincing. She sings about things in a way that is reassuringly youthful and endearingly sweet, but at the same time gives you the impression that she’s one of those rare few young who somehow seem to be as old as they are young.
There’s no telling how far this eighteen-year-old might go, but with ‘Mellow’ she certainly has further confirmed herself as an artist of rare calibre.
Earlier this year Maria Mena was at the centre of a US campaign that saw her climbing the Billboard charts and performing at David Letterman’s. The US. version of her debut album titled ‘White turns blue’ debuted at #1 on Billboard Heatseeker’s New Album Chart. Big-wigs such as Kanye West singled her out as a favourite and her ground-breaking hit ‘You are the only one’ received massive nationwide airplay.
Earlier this autumn she was nominated for the MTV Europe ‘Best Nordic Act’ award (which was eventually won by Swedes The Hives).
Currently, Maria Mena is in the process of promoting ‘Mellow’ to the European audience.