You may know her for the hypnotic, Arabic version of White Rabbit, featured in the acclaimed 2013 movie American Hustle.
Her perfect vocals, able to deliver heartfelt atmospheres and enticing rhythms, are now protagonists of her upcoming debut album, Simple Cure.
In her own words, the album is dedicated to anyone “who left their homes, looking for the exciting unknown”, anyone “who dared break out from their own shackles and explore the world on their own terms”.
Lebanese-American singer and songwriter Mayssa Karaa delivers ten intense songs that range from alternative pop to dance, echoing artists such as Lana Del Ray, Florence Welch, and Dua Lipa, but without missing out on her roots, with a constant middle eastern flavor throughout the tracklist.
A journey through self-acceptance, Simple Cure puts the individual at the center of the universe: the cure to any of our trouble is simply inside ourselves.
With this strong message, the listener enjoys the opening track Broken Lines, a reflection on how difficult, but important, it is to fight preconceptions and explore the world with a personal path.
So early in the album, Mayssa Karaa delivers an interesting, laid-back tune, full of questions rather than easy answers: when everything is black and white, is it possible to survive in the grey? Mayssa asks herself this thought-provoking question while evaluating the state of a relationship in In The Grey.
After this deep meditation, we get to the title-track, Simple Cure, which bears a powerful, positive message: find your true self and you’ll have found the cure to any of your problems.
Got That Feeling, the fifth track in this journey, deals with the contemporary issue of human connections, telling the story of a relationship where honesty is pursued and treasured.
Now, any Jefferson Airplane fan will have a bit of a hard time listening to Mayssa Karaa’s soft, melancholic version of Somebody To Love. After all, those ears are too used to pounding electric guitars and the energetic vocals by Grace Slick. It gets a couple of listens to finally appreciate Mayssa’s heartfelt interpretation, coming, in contrast, right after a feel-good song such as the previous track.
After this Sixties’ classic revisited, you’ll get goosebumps with I’ll Let Go If You Let Go. Anyone can relate to the very difficult situation of having to let a loved one go for the sake of both parties’ well-being.
Never Go Back explores human relationships again, in the perspective of how important it is to leave behind the unimportant pressures, and embrace a bright future with the people you love.
Call Me A Stranger, possibly the most subtly political song in the album, explores the theme of diversity and acceptance. Mayssa Karaa puts into this track her personal experience of leaving her homeland and seeking acceptance in a new Country.
In the closing track, Versailles, the famous and luxurious French location becomes a metaphor for a world of excitement to be found in one’s own mind and positivism.
Overall, the album has a nice mixture of different genres and styles, keeping it fresh track after track. Certainly a great debut for Mayssa Karaa.
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