Ida Maree - 'Chapter 2'
Review by Brandon Watts & Staff
Ida Maree's new album Chapter 2 will uplift your soul with inspirational songs about love and loss, forgiveness and faith, healing and hope. The album's title track describes the artist arriving at a higher ground and turning a new page in her life. "Hope sings a brand new song." Ida makes sure to start the album strong, captivating her audience with powerful, soulful vocals with a grooving R&B tinged track. "Chapter 2" sets the foundation for the album as Ida Maree steps into her own with an undeniable talent that soars.
The next song is "Watching and Waiting" which opens with strumming acoustic guitar, syncopated and stacatto guitar riffs, and laid-back accents from the bass setting an enchanting soundscape. The fantastic funk groove is made up of soul, blues, and R & B. Walking the beat, "Watching and Waiting" is about seeing the road ahead, and waiting for good things with patience and trust in your faith. Ida sings with confidence. Mid-way, a funky interlude and a wah-wah solo is icing on the cake.
The beautiful cover song "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" will melt your heart. The smooth and flowing arrangement featuring ambient, glossy synths, and expressive guitar melodies is filled with subtle emotional ambience that allows for Ida's voice to take center stage as she sings from the heart. The pure timbre of her vocals meld perfectly with the track making for a classic, easy-listening experience that anyone will enjoy. Ida is a true artist who takes unexpected turns resulting in an engaging performance that leaves you breathless.
Next up "Battelfield" is a victory song about faith. The pop-rock energy is fantastic. This song is sure to get you on your feet with hands raised in the air, full of praise. This high-octane jam is fueled by heavy drums, crunchy guitars, and wailing leads that pump energy into the arrangement. Ending on a captivating note, Ida's vocalese is supported by driving strings and percussion.
Another song that will have you participating heart and soul with it's clap-along beat is "All Glory and Honour" as it proclaims "mighty is the name" of the King. The energy and build-up between the verses and chorus is dynamic as Ida Maree takes it home with a vocal performance that is full of soul.
"I Did" is a gorgeous and intimate ballad about the ever-constant presence of the Lord. What starts off as a duet between piano and voice, becomes almost cinematic with reverberant percussion, dynamic lead vocals, and the steady pulse of background vocals singing "I did." Starting with the theme of abandonment, the song unfolds to reveal that you are never alone in faith. Ida gives this song a tender touch.
"Stronger" is an all out vibrant blast of soul and funk. Utilizing a definitive funk bass, electric guitars and drums reminiscent of the great 70's funk band, the song will have you dancing in the isles with it's tight musicianship and strong rhythmic sensibilities. Well-conceived background vocals add to the funky flavor. "What was meant to haunt you only makes you stronger." Sure to be a fan favorite. "Stronger" is a vibrant selection about remembering that it's not over...until God says it's over.
"Safe in Your Arms" is a song about the security and safety of love. With a sparse introduction of simple chords, Ida gently sings about feeling safe in the arms of unconditional love. Light vocal harmonies in the chorus draw your ear adding subtle color to the arrangement. The song develops with lovely string arpeggiations and sparkling ambience.
"Tell Your Heart" is a moving song about getting back to who you were before you were emotionally shattered. Stepping into the light of grace, Ida Maree sings beautifully against a the delicate arrangement of piano, strings, and light percussion. Given the lighter timbre of the arrangement, Ida does not shy away from letting loose vocaly, delivering powerful heart-wrenching phrases that showcase her vocal range.
Picking up the tempo with a folk-rock flare of acoustic guitars and beating drums, "W.W.W." is an affirmation song. Showing off her versatility, Ida taps into a rougher, growling timbre. With reassurance, Ida Maree sings about seeing your reflection the way that God sees you. "W.W.W." rises above shallow surfaces to see the beauty of life. "God is watching over you as the world is watching on. Who's watching who?"
Ending with "My Tribute", Ida gives the emotional performance of a lifetime as she expresses her deep gratitude for all that she is and ever hopes to be. Ida croons for listeners through delicate phrases and heart-stopping vocal flourishes that will give you goosebumps. "My Tribute" is timeless and will resonate with listeners for many, many years to come.
"Chapter 2" by Ida Maree is one of the best new Christian and Inspirational albums of the year. Using elements of R & B, funk, blues, soul and pop, this is an album that will appeal to fans of all genres. Ida Maree's vocal performance is filled with heart and soul as she moves seamlessly from tender expressions to soaring anthems while the production work of Billy Smiley is second to none as each arrangement captures the essence of the song's meaning Each song in "Chapter 2" is a page from a story, and as Ida Maree turns each page, she moves us from heartache to hope as she triumphs, both musically and lyrically, in the spirit of renewal.
For links to streaming, digital outlets, and YouTube videos, please visit Songwhip.
About Ida Maree
From the clubs of the Gold Coast, to the theaters of Sydney, and into Black Gospel Churches of Melbourne, Houston, DC, Birmingham, LA, the Australian Gospel artist, Ida Maree, has had quite a musical journey. Her travels and singing have encompassed the true path of a musician searching for truth in her life. Her debut album, Saving Grace, was acclaimed as 'The Album of the Year' by Australia’s leading Christian Radio Charts.