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  • Jul 9
    Hellesyltdagane,  Hellesylt
     
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Artist: Ann-Marita CD: Intuition Quote: "Country music is really more international than we realize." By Derek Blackmon Upon first hearing Ann-Marita's latest release Intuition, there is no immediate evidence of this being country music performed by someone born in Norway and now living in Australia. Bringing a punchy driving sound that recalls the Jack White-influenced rebirth of Loretta Lynn, there is a breath of fresh air being exhaled in the music industry, and we should hope that others follow suit. Shunning the Skoal-ringed redneck that is Gretchen Wilson, this is a better sound ("A Woman's Intuition") without the 'try this, it'll give you cancer' quality of Wilson's songs. "Under the Iowa Sky" will leave you asking how a Norwegian can bag a winner so easily, especially upon realizing she's been handed a raw deal on occasion (bogus label flies by night, singer perseveres), showing she has no problem facing the beast and staring him down when he rears his ugly head. "Company Town" is an edgy number that harkens to days when things were more deplorable and fascist than now, whether we'd like to admit it or not. I would like to find something to point out about an Aussie making such a damn fine country album, however there just isn't anything on Intuition that would make that justifiable. Maybe that's the point: Country music is really more international than we realize.
The Norwegian born blonde beauty Ann-Marita is back with her second CD, a follow-up to her self-titled 2004 debut. Instantly I am taken back as that warm honey voice and the bright guitar by husband (and producer) Brett Garsed weave the magic again. Definitely on a par with the classy high-price efforts that come out of Nashville, the production is near perfect. From Ann-Marita's lips comes a voice that is not just a voice - it is a musical instrument. Ann-Marita has written some excellent tracks; A Woman's Intuition, Under the Iowa Sky, State Line, Gettin' On That Bus, Mrs. You. Every song is deliciously listenable and wraps you up in the sentiment, perfectly blended between vocals and backing. Three Magic Words is my personal favourite - I had to hit replay several times - a feisty rocky country blues finger snapping toe tapper. Australia should be very glad Ann-Marita chose the Land Down Under to call home.
April 19, 2007 CD REVIEW: Ann-Marita’s ‘Intuition’ is a Great Fusion Country Sound, Artful Blend of Country and Rock: Original Songs by a Powerhouse Singer with a Great Future By David M. Kinchen Huntington News Network Music Critic Hinton, WV (HNN) -- When Wildfire Publicity in Smyrna, TN asked me if I wanted Ann-Marita’s sophomore CD, “Intuition” to review, I told them to send it on. I’m listening to this Norwegian-born powerhouse blonde singer/song writer as I write this review and I’m convinced Ann-Marita’s better than all of the Dixie Chicks combined! She’s already as good as Martina McBride and has the potential to be one of the immortals like Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Ashland, KY's Loretta Lynn, WV’s own Kathy Mattea.…even Patsy Cline, my all-time favorite country singer, a woman who broke through the stereotypes of the genre. Ann-Marita has that kind of potential. I’m going to seek out her 2004 debut album, “Ann-Marita.” The following biography is from Ann-Marita’s web site and is no exaggeration…she’s outstanding. If you love country music, you’ll like … make that…love! Ann-Marita. If you turn up your nose at the thought of listening to a twangy girl singer, take a chance on “Intuition”: You’ll love it. She’s a girl singer, but not so much twangy! The part in the material below about her experiences in L.A. reminds me of a 1983 song called 'California Promises' by the late great Steve Goodman. (I have everything I could get my hands on by the guy who wrote 'Good Morning, America' (Riding on the City of New Orleans). Ann-Marita's 'Intuition,' from Viking Girl Productions, should be available in well-stocked record stores and can be obtained through www.cdbaby.com., a wonderful site for indy albums. Her 2004 debut album is available at www.amazon.com.
Ann-Marita has come hacking through the jungles of the music industry with the machete of her songs, and with a strong voice and sturdy melodies, she’s not backing down. Intuition is a confident stride onto the country/rock scene, with songs of love and strength paving the way. “Under the Iowa Sky” has a fresh Tom Petty jangle to its guitar and frank, hard-luck lyrics in which the singer refers to herself as a “pop star wannabe,” but if this album is any indication of what’s to come, she won’t have to want for long. “Three Magic Words” is a rompin’ honky tonk rocker, while “Two-Faced” stakes Ann-Marita’s claim as the next queen of country. The most moving song on the album, “Company Town,” starts off with a haunting protest-folk harmony and leads into a country ballad about a dismal miner town given one short moment of joy from a traveling band. The song has a warm swing to it, vaguely reminiscent of “Hotel California” in tempo, tune and spirit. Ann-Marita’s Intuition serves her well, and helps her find her way, through her songs, into your heart. Favorite: Track 5 “Company Town”
Ann-Marita "Intuition" (Viking Girl) 3.5 stars You don't expect a Norwegian girl recently relocated to Australia to turn up with a great country-rock album, but that's what Ann-Marita did with her independent self-titled debut in 2004. When that disc was released I wrote that she should easily score a major record deal, but so far, no dice on that prediction. She's still on a tiny label. But with "Intuition," she proves unequivocally that her first album was no fluke. Described by one critic as "better than all of the Dixie Chicks combined!" Ann-Marita delivers crisp and emotional vocals that range from sweet to sultry on her second album of self-penned songs. She opens the disc with some big riff strutting electric guitar work on "A Woman's Intuition," which extols the virtues of listening to your gut. Then there's the emotional electric guitar frustrated-in-love ballad "What the Hell (Goes On In There)," where she sings of a lover who won't open up: "I love you madly/you drive me crazy/you're not under my thumb/you're under my skin." While the disc is filled with songs of tough relationship issues, it doesn't stick with just a twangy country delivery. Ann-Marita slips in touches of rock and blues guitar on some songs, and with "Three Magic Words," she adds a little funky rhythm to the story of another lover who promises again and again those three words that you just know will never come true: "I will change." In "Company Town" she uses an old-fashioned male background chorus as she tells the story of a girl ready to strike out on her own after chronicling the mysterious origins of her birth. And with "Mrs. You" she slips in some harmonica and a bluesy twang as she tells the story of a woman who decides that she will no longer simply be the second fiddle of her husband. The album closes with the gentle "Done Doin' Time," which has a couple melodic notes that bring to mind "Me and Bobby McGee" as she sings about leaving behind the shackles of the past. If you like an honest singer with some catchy country roots, seek out this album and discover a true treasure in Ann-Marita. For song samples and more information, check out her Web site at www.annmarita.com.