Music Reviews

Norine Braun

Now & Zen

Braun and Brains

OK, just get past the somewhat disquieting disembodied head cover art and listen to this CD. People throw the word “eclectic” around a lot these days when describing CDs that fall outside the commercial mainstream, but pop vocalist Norine Braun’s latest disc earns that label. Now & Zen is a pretty cool mix of styles • she calls it, “ambient soul pop with elements of hip hop, jazz and punk” – that maintains a cohesive focus. It’s also a lot of fun.

Like jazz-pop vocalist Martha Lipton, Norine Braun has a lovely, flexible voice that sounds natural covering a variety of styles. The insistent chant-like refrain on “Intimate Hour” – “Intimate hour become surreal power hour” – has an appealing hip-hop feel and an undeniable commercial hook. On the bluesy/funk rock “J’en Suis Desolee” – mixing sung choruses with spoken verses – her voice sounds a lot like Debbie Harry. Similarly, “I’m The 1” sounds like it could have come off a lost Blondie album from 1980. When Norine shifts gears to the laid-back, southwestern-style acoustic guitar and trumpet accompaniment on “Survival of the Richest,” it doesn’t sound at all out of place

Now & Zen most reminds me of the soundtrack to a favorite musical film or play, where you run to the record store immediately after leaving the theater in order to grab the album before the songs can fully leave your consciousness. That’s a pretty big compliment. Search a little deeper into the pop music pile and dig out Norine Braun’s Now & Zen. You’ll thank yourself.

Norine Braun: http://www.norinebraun.com/


Recently on Ink 19...

New Music Now 008: doubleVee

New Music Now 008: doubleVee

Features

Join Ink 19 with Barb and Allan Vest for new music from Sydney, Australia band Bloods, Prey composer Sarah Schachner, and doubleVee’s own latest release, Treat Her Strangely. What was your first cassette tape, hmm?

Hold Me Tight

Hold Me Tight

Screen Reviews

Lily and Generoso review Hold Me Tight, the sixth feature directed by renowned actor Mathieu Amalric. Centered around a brilliant performance from Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, Bergman Island), Hold Me Tight is an unpredictable and remarkable psychological drama.

Sirens

Sirens

Screen Reviews

The fact that the band Slaves to Sirens exists is impressive, but that they live, love, and breathe to play metal takes things to another level. Sirens documents the journey. Review by Charles DJ Deppner.