Pop is a vast genre, and when something comes along that's new and exciting fresh talent, it's a great thing to behold. Last March, this something was Molly Jenson, and her debut, Maybe Tomorrow, is definitely something that should be turning heads in the pop circle, and in more ways than one.
Norah Jones and Alicia Keys both come to mind while listening to Maybe Tomorrow; the singer-songwriter relies heavily on the piano for this record, which, like her contemporaries, makes a cozy sound to warm up to. It's feel-good music, most definitely. Some could legitimately call these vocals a bit dreary, but they go with the sound hauntingly well. Really, the opener "Give It Time" is the most upbeat song on the record, which gives the whole album a little bit of a deceptive beginning. Granted, the rest the songs are not all that upbeat, but that doesn't make this record a loss; in fact, the complete opposite is true. Some tracks like the title track, "I'm Sorry For Me," and "Thank You My Friend" are some of the most memorable of the set. Switchfoot's Jon Foreman even makes an appearance on the record ("Do You Only Love The Ones Who Look Like You"), which is a somewhat brief, but quite a pleasant, surprise.
As far as lyrical themes go, love and loss of love is the constant here. The title track, "Thinking Of You," and "Thank You My Friend" are the most noteworthy tracks with this concept. "Give It Time" is also a highlight, reminding us of our numbered days ("Where are you off to in such a hurry, girl?/Is something chasing you?/The world is spinning 'round circles, little girl/Is it the world or is it you?"). As far as spiritual lyrics are concerned, listeners will have to settle for cryptic lines like "While you complain about LA, I'll tell you that I think I figured Jesus out" ("Maybe Tomorrow"). I wish we got more spiritual lyrics, as well as ones that are a little less mysterious, but everything else here is positive and poetic.
It's hard to find much wrong with this record, but each individual listener will find something that could bother them; but again, repeat listens will make those complaints subside. It may not even be worth noting, but the song "Alongside You" is actually split into two tracks. The entire song put together, however, is almost five minutes, so why was it not just one track?
There's room for improvement, but Molly Jenson has put together a surprisingly fantastic set here. There will admittedly be some that won't buy into this record immediately, but it will grow on most with repeat listens, as it did on me. Among the best of debuts this year, Maybe Tomorrow is a stellar piano-pop effort well worth looking into.- Review date: 6/22/09, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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