If you look across music's history, it's only recently that the singer-songwriter has emerged as a real tour-de-force. Prior to that you were into the world of Tinpan Alley and before that many songs were learnt from each other and simply interpreted and arguably, it's that ability to capture the spirit of a song that has established many of the greats, many of most long lasting singers, the ones that span generations, Sinatra, Presley, Day, Bassey etc. That ability to take another's words and simply own them.
That's not to detract from the singer-songwriters, clearly there is nothing to take away from the wordsmiths, the contributors of the narrative, be it real or imagined, where would we be without the originators, especially the ones that have the talent to explore the emotion in the words and deliver the songs.
Occasionally you come across an artist that not only writes a fantastic narrative, but also seemingly makes everything they touch sound like their own, Marina Florance is just such an artist as a listen to "This That And The Other" confirms in an instant.
One of Marina's great strength is the effortless way she can move between issue songs, songs with emotional baggage and songs that just incorporate the everyday and do so in such a way as to make sure the individual points of interest in each song hit home. It's an invaluable skill and one that means that "This, That And The Other" is an album that captures a universal concept. Whilst each song is more than capable of standing on its own it means the album works as a whole and gives a sense of context.
To this point, my review may be a bit technical giving the setting, but don't let that detract you from the power of the songs, Marina Florance is more than capable of giving her songs a sense of emotional urgency, you feel the songs as much as hear them. Here are songs that are capable of raising the spirit or make you contemplate the heartache, song writing gold.
If there is a flaw in the album, there are times when the production seems a little flat, maybe a bit more glitter in the mastering, but either way a minor consideration when taken against the narrative and the arrangements. Make no mistake, this is an album, that is, quite literally at times, poetry. This is language and melody in balance and an album that speaks to all those who hear it and comes with that recommendation that you join that number.
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