Review Summary: pretty.
Although my music preferences changed a lot over several years, there is rather a few albums that I can't seem to let go of. Bound to me still, they tug at my heartstrings notwithstanding that I'm not obsessed any longer. Mree's debut album Grow
has this exact effect. I think to reject Grow
would feel as though I'm dismissing a part of my personal development and story.
Mree has such a pretty, skillful voice. She can sing with light airiness and power, which is atypical considering most singers either stay in soft or loud zones, straying only slightly, depending on their sort of voice and comfort level. Few, however, truly know how to belt, free of strain, and retain that kind of angelic softness that Mree emits so liberally. “You Are” displays this especially well, growing from soft, almost unheard utterings and flowering into harmonized, duet-ed outburst, which has Mree raising her vocal to levels unexpected of her brand of artsy singer-songwriter.
Another aspect of Grow
's appeal is authenticity. Mree began on YouTube, but it appears that her success hasn't pushed her to reform around teen-pop expectations. Everything is born of her. Nothing she does is oversexualized or exceptionally deep, because she's never trying to launch herself into spaces she doesn't belong. She's just herself, which - to me - is refreshing given her peers attempts at either going to drastic lengths to distinguish themselves, or mold themselves to whatever they think others want, abandoning their original intentions.
Even so, Mree's lyrics and sound, so typical of her teen self, eventually dull. Growing pains and day dreaming tend so much toward reality that they begin to wear. Adding to this dullness, every song is similar. Relying on finger-plucking to form melodies, sporadically adding bells, percussion, violin, saxophone, and horn to diversify her songs, she smartly builds them from their touching beginnings to satisfying climaxes; eventually, however, they fall privy to their own charms, losing said charm to their own familiarity. That said, I can't fault her too much given Mree produced Grow
on her own at only 17. Abilities and materials at her disposal considered, she did good.
Recommended Tracks: "Breathe Easy," "You Are," "Against the Current"