Marlene Tholl – Kore / 2006 Self / 11 tracks / http://www.marelenetholl.com
World music is an inexplicably tough genre in which to attain popularity . This can be assumed, of course, with any genre of music, but world music is constantly thrown into a category with classical or orchestral.
I had some hope in World music, especially with more mainstream bands like Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly infusing Irish beats with aggressive punk. Unfortunately, the bulk of American society still seems to associate World as old fashioned and out of date.
Marelene Tholl, a newcomer in the category of World music, is a tiny sampling of the new direction World music has taken over the past few years. Her music evokes the feeling of ethereal magic and trance typical of the genre, but lacks the individuality, the uniqueness, to set her apart from other young starlets.
Highlights of the CD include the songs â€œSlitâ€, an eerie metaphorical song assimilating human emotions with the emotions of the natural world, and â€œFor the Oracleâ€, a quiet and stark tune that could be a delight for anyone interested in the Greek cultures or religions.
Unfortunately, the album as a whole does not pack enough punch to stand out above any other pagan pleasing, goddess worshipping artist. Her lyrics are deep and powerful, but the croons and lulls of her voice rarely bring out the lyricsâ€™ depth and emotion.
Another equally low point on the album is â€œCome Undoneâ€, a cheesy and over established piece about unrequited love. Lines like â€œif I donâ€™t need a man/what do I want one for?â€ made me feel like suggesting Tholl look into a career in emo or indie music.
Similarly, most of her songs seem monotonous, boring. By the time the whole seven minutes and twenty-four seconds of â€œHe had a Long Chain Onâ€, I was wishing the man in the song would give up his pursuit of the narrator and leave!
Overall Iâ€™d have to say that this CD is a very weak effort. There are few traces of hope anywhere on the record, and most of the songs drown in unnecessary instruments and a weak vocal performance.
Better luck next time, Ms. Tholl.