Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Marissa Levy “63 Songs About Joe” [EP]


Pop rock
Silly love songs – what’s wrong with that? Nothing, if Marissa Levy is the one singing them. Born in my home state of Maryland and honing her songwriting and musical chops in New York, Levy is a pop rock dream come true. But the first thing you’re probably wondering is how short these songs must be if she squeezed 63 of them onto a single EP? Well, she may have written 63 songs about Joe, but only 5 made the cut here.

It has been five years since Levy’s last effort, “Charmed and Dangerous”. For her new EP, she recruited power pop guru Mike Viola, who has been featured here on BMF many times. Viola’s talents are the perfect match for Levy’s songwriting skills – the production is excellent and the backing vocals are outstanding. Viola has cast the same magical spell on Levy’s craft that he’s done for Kelly Jones and Mandy Moore – pure pop wizardry. Levy’s vocals are sweet as chocolate and you’ll hear copious amounts of Beatles and Beach Boys influences in her tunes.

You couldn’t ask for a better springtime song than the perky feel-good opener, “A Love Song”. Levy’s folky side leaks through to good effect on the milder “Growing Up To Do” – her fragile yet firm vocal, the backing vocal accents, and enchanting melody make this one another favorite. She could be mistaken for Lisa Loeb on the tender and catchy “Heartbreak Liar”. “The Magic” is also beautifully crafted with a mild retro feel and more trademark Viola harmonies. Rounding out this set is “Breathing Fire” – a perfect example of how an artist can get a little darker without compromising on melody.

There isn’t a bad apple in the bunch. All I can say to sum up…bring on the other 58 songs! “63 Songs About Joe” was released on April 5 - you can order it through her web site.

Marissa Levy on MySpace. Official site.

Listen to “A Love Song”

4 comments:

Real Gone said...

Lloyd Dobler: She's written 63 songs...and they're all about you, Joe.

Joe: So, what's up?

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Looking forward to hearing this one. Anything with Mike Viola's name on it graces the REAL GONE stereo speakers at some point.

Real Gone said...

...Of course, in the original "Say Anything..." quote, it was 65 songs about Joe, but I'm not gonna hold it against Melissa for misremembering! ;-)

Listening to one of her earlier discs as I type this. Not sure yet, but might grow on me.

Bill's Music Forum said...

Oh man - how did I miss that?! One of my favorite movies, too...shame on me! Thanks for pointing it out. Cheers.

Real Gone said...

In my previous comment, I meant to type Marissa, not Melissa, of course.