Ida Maree - 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart'
Review by: Anthony Nguyen & Staff
In a stunning display of vocal brilliance and fantastic arranging, “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by the Bee Gee’s covered by Ida Maree is fantastic. All of the instrumental elements fit perfectly. The guitar is tasteful and sultry while the synth adds nice glue. The bass and drums are extremely tight. The drums are bold and punchy while the bass maintains a precise rhythm, giving the sonics a rock solid foundation. The real star of the show however has to be the vocals from Ida Maree. Ranging from soft and crooning to outright belting in the blink of an eye, Ida Maree is able to navigate these two extremes with a comfortable ease. This combined with her technical excellence makes this vocal performance a force to be reckoned with.
The intro is deceptively calm, along with the first verse. They are intentionally bare on the instrumentation so that the first chorus feels absolutely huge. Overall the arrangement is stellar. Instruments go in and out as needed to ensure the pace never gets stale. By the time the second chorus and outro has come around the listener has already been taken on a great journey, a nod to the excellent arranging. Maree towards the end of the song belts on a long note that is particularly impressive. The mix also deserves some praise. The low end is large without overbearing, and all of instruments are clear due to some decisive decisions on the EQ. There was a meticulous attention to detail regarding the production of this song. Every instrument, vocal line and post production choices are top notch.
The song was originally written as an ode to the band coming back together, and Ida manages to still capture that sentiment perfectly in her singing. The song captures the original magic but presents it in a different light. Trading a folksy and breezy charisma with more of a contemporary shine the song is a brilliant homage to the original. With a dazzling vocal performance and production values on par with any record you’ll hear anywhere, “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” is a masterclass on how to cover a record.
About Ida Maree
Australian artist Ida Maree has had quite a musical journey. From the clubs of the Gold Coast, to the theatres of Sydney, and into Black Gospel Churches of Melbourne, Houston, DC, Birmingham, LA, her travels and singing have encompassed the true path of a musician searching for truth in her life. Australian artist Ida Maree has had quite a musical journey. From the clubs of the Gold Coast, to the theatres of Sydney, and into Black Gospel Churches of Melbourne, Houston, DC, Birmingham, LA, 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, best known for the success of her songs Saving Grace and Butterfly. But while in Nashville in 2014, Ida came into contact with Grammy nominated producer Billy Smiley (WhiteHeart, Johnny Cash, Clay Aikens, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sandy Patty), and they formed a partnership, which didn't come around to making the music until all the pieces seemed fit together in 2018. For a year and a half, they have worked tirelessly towards defining her voice, sound, story, and songs. Bringing her new album Chapter 2 to the forefront of music in 2020 will be the culminating effort of these 2 kindred souls. Smiley said, “Working with Ida has been a complete joy and effortless endeavor to create the music we both love and envisioned for this project.” With him coming from Detroit carrying the sounds of Motown and Stevie Wonder in his soul, and the lyrical depth of Bob Seger, he brought in a great cast of young musicians and engineers who are shaping the Nashville landscape; like Australian Jared Kneale on drums (Kacey Musgraves, Ben Rector, Hunter Hayes), Brennan Smiley of the rock group “The Technicolors” on electric guitars, Akil Thompson on bass (Little Big Town), Blair Masters on Keys (Garth Brooks, Peter Frampton), and musician / engineer Jonathan Crone. Mixed by Billy Whittington (Amy Grant, Be Be and Ce Ce Winans, and Michael W Smith) and Jonathan Crone, the project has come full circle to a national release of incredible and soaring vocals and passion from Maree in Chapter 2 . The album is slated for a Summer/Fall 2020 release. Along with BGV gospel singers Larysa Jackson, Dwanna Hughes, and Martrell Harris, they have come up with an incredible soulful body of work not often heard in the marketplace; one that is both fresh, musically compelling, and yet with a special sense of power and vulnerability all rolled into this slim and quiet young artist named Ida Maree. “The journey in the last 2 years of my life has been literally turned upside down and back; laced with heartbreak, musical completeness, sorrow, fear and the unknown in a new Chapter 2 of my life. So many people can relate to this message and the songs. And then to see the world plunge into a dark place at the beginning of 2020 has made all of these songs that much more impactful for anyone who might hear it”. Ida states. “When Billy and I were writing these songs, I never knew they would take on such meaning for me in that every line in every song speaks to me and my life. When I sing these songs for others, I feel deeply every word like never before.”