Marnie Stern - 'The Chronicles Of Marnia'
An album as excellent as its title
8 / 10
This album deserves eight out of 10 for the title alone. Luckily, the music on this American singer-songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire’s fourth album is also excellent, and finds the nimble-fingered New Yorker flitting between manic, cheerleaderish pep and losing-team-crying-in-the-locker-room pessimism. ‘Noonan’ crests in on the fury of Stern’s trademark guitar shrapnel and an impassioned chant of “Don’t you wanna be somebody?!”, to create an anthem that wouldn’t sound out of place on a high-budget Hollywood film’s cheesy exercise montage. ‘Proof Of Life’ finds Marnie contemplating her place in the music business, mewling “Work is all I have, and work is never done” over moody guitar flicks and curls, before busting into full-scale emo mode on the “I am nothing, I am no-one” refrain. But whether she’s playing loser or victor, the swathes of frenetic energy that buoy every note are always present.
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