Maro’s sixth studio album is 50 minutes of pop and R&B surrealism packed with dreamy soundscapes that encapsulate musical escapism.
There are 14 tracks on this mostly English language record, four of which made up Maro’s spectacular little EP that was released to high acclaim earlier this summer.
When Mama Used To Sing is a nostalgic and dreamy snippet of an opener to this album as Maro whispers memories that are sweetly reminiscent of her childhood. A sting of a drum roll heralds cacophonic instrumentation before giving way to her soft, mumbling vocals again.
Am I Not Enough For Now? and It Keeps On Raining made their first appearances on the Like We’re Wired EP in June but aren’t out of place on this record. The other two tracks from that EP – the titular Like We’re Wired and We’ve Been Loving In Silence – also make a reappearance but it’s the latter that stands above the rest having slipped under the radar on that EP. However, it’s difficult to justify and explain the qualities that enrich it more than others.
The only Portuguese language track on this album is a collaboration with ‘the voice of God’ Milton Nascimento. The Brazilian Grammy Award winner retired from performing live earlier this year but is still recording music. His iconic falsetto doesn’t make an appearance on Juro Que Vi Flores (English: I Swear I Saw Flowers) but he probably grounds Maro and reminds her of her musical inspirations.
The underlying emotion and the sentiment that weaves through the full record is unrequited love and attention. Crazy World We Live In encapsulates those feelings better than most other tracks on this release and it’s easily the most relatable. Never Been So Sure is almost on par; it’s a verseless song with a couple of comforting lines in Portuguese.
But Now I Let You Go is the last track that stands alone before the real sadness kicks in. It’s heavily produced with massive instrumentation carrying the weight of the track from its midpoint.
A tragic trilogy of songs close out this record. Secrets I’m Trying To Keep is probably the saddest of them all. It’s a piano led track about the yearning need for someone to love you back. Maro sounds like she’s clinging on to false hope. The titular Can You See Me? is the realisation that the false hope is now gone and the invisibility you feel about being insignificant to someone else. I’m Just Afraid, I’m So Afraid confirms it’s game over.
There isn’t a wasted minute or second listening to this offering from Maro. It’s emotional fragility that deserves respect.