Sound: She's Norwegian and she's only 22, but she already worked with such artists as legendary Nikki Sixx, Xavier Muriel from Buckcherry, Scott Stevens and Freddy Herrera from The Exies. She titles her debut EP Heads Will Roll and put a pile of naked girls on a cover. Pretty impressive, isn't it?
Her name is Marion Raven and her debut EP Heads Will Roll was out 31st of October on Eleven-Seven Music record label in USA (her debut album Here Are Am is already a huge success in Japan). It featured 6 rock 'n' roll tracks and it sounds like Motley Crue with a female vocalist.
Raven met Mtley Cre's Nikki Sixx at his show in Norway and that meeting defined her future career. Just like the title track Heads Will Roll, which is based on a remarkable bass line from legendary bass player, his influence is evident everywhere - even Marion's record label Eleven-Seven Music is Nikki Sixx home label.
All tracks follow the spirit of hard rock hits of the past and are meant to jump around to. All I Wanna Do Is You, written in collaboration with Buckcherry's Keith Nelson, is the most up-lifting song on Heads Will Roll and has a bluesy rock feel. 13 Days is the only ballad on the CD. It is probably the most mature song of the record, giving us the glance of a woman in the girl.
Even if you're not into nude girl's singing, the CD is worth listening to just because of it's fabulous guitar work. Guitar solos, played with fierce appear in every song, adding to the insane rock 'n' roll spirit. Apart from guitars another brilliant thing about the EP is songwriting. The songs are composed perfectly -- with hooky riffs and no excessive parts. Writing the songs for the EP, Raven wisely asked for help experienced musicians like DJ Ashba, Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida, Nikki Sixx among the others and the collaborative work was worth it. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are rock 'n' roll at its best -- perfectly written, catchy, on popular subjects. Like those in a title track Heads Will Roll -- There's a taste in my mouth that I never had before/To be a cheater, defeater, are things I won't ignore. The EP is full or short and shark lines -- like You're good for sex/But you're bad for me. According to the artist, the lyrics are very personal and Marion sings about the things that worry every 20-something year old girl -- disappoinment and love-hate relationship.
Marion has impressive vocal abilities, but when it comes to rock, it's more about a strong voice and experience. She has the first, but most of the tracks on the EP leaves you wishing for more experience, more raspy bass tones and less sweetness in the vocals. In Let Me Introduce Myself you are supposed to feel sorry for the her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend Raven dedicated the song to. Instead you feel sorry for Marion as she sings the song in a pitiful voice. // 8
Overall Impression: It's obvious Raven has more potential than shown on this EP. Like she wasn't let to do what she really wanted, being pushed into some frames. The songs are supposed to be dark, mysterious and so on, but it feels like there's something missing -- it's not dark enough, not mysterious enough. Maybe recording the songs they forgot about the real feelings? She definitely needs more experience when it comes to expression and emotions, but that's not to ask from a young artist.
The whole record feels a bit unfinished. The songs are at the same level without any highs or downs. The voice is often covered by the instruments.
Made up with the help of those who created modern rock 'n' roll, Marion Raven's image seems to be everything you would expect from a rock 'n' roll chick -- catchy songs with amazing guitars, pretty face on a CD cover and tones of naked ladies in the video (it is featured on her EP). The girl's got what it takes to become the new rock 'n' roll diva -- she's beautiful, sexy, she plays acoustic and electric guitars and piano and she's got a strong voice. New Joan Jett? Probably yeah! // 7
- Kosh (c) 2006