I Will

“If I can give it to you, you know I will.”

So says MoZella (a.k.a. Maureen McDonald) on the title track of her first full-length album, I Will. If what she’s referencing is a surprisingly addictive pop-soul debut, then she’s already given it to us. I Will ranks fairly high amidst all the albums of 2006 and the initial single, “Amnesia”, is every bit as catchy and well-produced as any Top 40 hit in recent memory.

Though she spends most of her time focusing on relationships (positively in “Love is Something”, negatively in “You Wanted It”), songs about struggling to make it (in the jazzy “Last $20”) and the human condition (in “Killing Time”) help give the album a more rounded, thoughtful vibe. Though the lyrics aren’t always the most inspired(“Messiah” is a bit of a stretch), the 24-year-old has a remarkably well-honed handle on introspective expression and uses it to her advantage at every turn. “Light Years Away,” the final and most personal tune of the album, serves not only as an apt finale to a well-made debut, but as a testament to the power of strength and forgiveness.

With various reviewers and profilers comparing MoZella to everyone from Nelly Furtado and Macy Gray to Norah Jones and Jack Johnson, it’s at least clear that she’s in good, though slightly varied, musical company. Each comparison is appropriate in its own way, but I’ll stay away from comparisons here. Suffice it to say that MoZella manages to mix artsy acoustic singer/songwriter sensibilities with contemporary urban beat-driven pop. The result is an album that works equally well at being emotionally articulate and catchily entertaining.

Zach’s Rating: A-
Nelly Furtado fan’s rating: A
Nelly fan’s rating: B+

To purchase I Will, visit Amazon
For more information on Mozella and to view the video for “Amnesia”, visit her homepage
For more reviews by Zach Freeman, visit his Hubpage

Be Sociable, Share!