Soul/pop group Memoir first seized my attention with “Los Angeles.” No lie, there was a two-week period in February where I didn’t go a day without spinning the track at least once. Soulful horns and a boldface-strong female lead, Dena Deadly? I couldn’t sign up fast enough. But it can be hard to know what to expect from the Internet. Blink and a once-promising act becomes a one-hit wonder.
Thank God, Memoir doesn’t just side-step this hurdle – they leap right over it. Fire In Me is that good.
It’s easy to get hyperbolic when talking about music that makes you feel this optimistic and confident. It all starts with Deadly – the star of the show combines an unfair amount of vocal talent with lyrics that range in subject matter, fitting for practically any mood you find yourself in. But in no way is she alone, thanks in large part to some proud instrumentals that emulate styles ranging from cinematic to soulful.
The variety will spin your head. “Minimum Wage (The Heist)” sees Deadly articulating a bank robbery, and with the kind of support that she gets from the song’s horn section, you’re damn sure she’s gonna make it out unscathed. “Sexy” brings the pace down to a waltz, and “Take Me Home” takes listeners to a more industrial, robotic place.
I could go on. I really could. After all, the group is comprised of professional musicians whose collaborations range from Cee-Lo and Warren G to Pitbull and the Jonas Brothers. This is the group’s first album, but mastering the art of songwriting has been on their agenda for a while now.
Basically, don’t be surprised when Memoir takes over your iPod for weeks at a time. There’s a lot to love here.