Marya Roxx

Payback Time

Written by: TL on 29/12/2010 18:58:36

I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I browsed a recent batch of promos and found an artist in there who, in all seriousness, bore the name Marya Roxx. I mean, this must be some sort of joke right? You can't expect me to believe that someone would actually put the 'word' "Roxx" in their name when trying to make a career for themselves. I wouldn't have thought so, but that is apparently what one young lady from the States has done, before hiring a bunch of session musicians to record the album "Payback Time", which has now made its way to my desk for review. God save me.

"Payback Time" is a perfect example of how sometimes things happen in the music industry that really really shouldn't. Marya (I flat out refuse to refer to her as Roxx) has pipes, I'll give her that, she can sing alright, however, it seems the ambitious young woman has spent quite some time listening to singers the likes of James Hetfield, and has decided to strive for a similar ashtray-type vocal performance. This is a problem, because her voice sounds rather thin to begin with, and.. well, put those two things together: Little girl's voice plus hardrock-style singing. The result is something I'm not quite sure if I should laugh or cry over.

And that was the good part, because when it comes to production and song writing, I'm quite certain that crying is the most appropriate reaction to this material. Marya writes - if she is responsible for the lyrics, which I fear is the case - the kind of tired, cliché-filled, self-righteous lyrics about how awesome it is to be a strong, independant, rebellious, totally unique (...) rock'n'roll-chick like her. Cue nausea.

So, with capable but silly vocals, singing lyrics I wouldn't hesitate to call flat out dumb, I'm guessing that's it for Marya's own contribution. As for the actual music, the dominant impression is one of entirely formulaic songs, driven by a guitar-sound that feels dreadfully old-fashioned and wrapped in a production that is clear, yet also remarkably flat and boring.

It's almost too fitting that the most memorable song on the record is "Nothing Going On", because the album overall seems to have just that, and the song is mostly memorable in a "this is really really lame" kind of way. Admittedly, there are rare but occasional rays of light, courtesy of hired hard-rock hasbeens that I'm guessing are responsible for the instrumentation, as they seem to remember their glory days and provide a few remotely soulful moments towards the end of the record.

It is nowhere near enough to save this sinking ship however, as the only thing that's more shameful than the material on this record, is the fact that someone allowed for it, or even wanted it, to be recorded in the first place. For Marya to ever become a remotely admirable recording artist, she has an impressively long to-do list. A) change the name, B) listen to more than one kind of music, C) get an original idea, D) get someone more sophisticated than a child to put it in lyrics for you, and.. well, I guess the list would go on for quite a bit. Meanwhile, if you were wondering what the lowest grades on our scale are meant for, this is it. One point removed from total disaster by the few positive bits of instrumentations, otherwise total garbage.

2

Download: "Nothing Going On"
For The Fans Of: Celina Ree, All Ends... little girls trying to make grown up music.. wait, who said Willow Smith?
Listen: myspace.com/maryaroxx

Release Date 08.11.2010
Dr2 Records

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