Mollie Marriott gets off to a memorable start with her debut album Truth Is A Wolf. This album, which will be released on November 3rd, 2017, has been much anticipated since the release of her single “Control.” Marriott is a singer with vocal ability that could have landed her singing anything from R&B to Musical Theatre to who knows, even Opera, based on sheer skill level and range alone, and yet a genre other than rock would surely not convey the kind of emotion and connectability that she gets across in this first album.
The first track on the album, “Control,” could be nothing but the lead single. The opening hit of the keys and a pulsating heartbeat of the kick drum are immediately grounding, giving the listener a starting place for her strong opening line, “Haven’t you heard the word, I’m taking back full control”. Instantly, Marriott’s literal and lyrical voices are made abundantly clear. Just as quickly as the verse begins and excites, the chorus hits hard with no time to disengage. From that moment forward, this tune keeps trucking along seamlessly in and out of sections, bringing the listener along for the ride. Marriott has complete command over the listener for every second of those three minutes. With a final ring of vocals, the listener is left not quite sure which way is up or down, but definitely wanting more.
The album continues with more powerful jams, one right after the other, each bigger and stronger than the former, and yet none as hard hitting and memorable as “Control,” but how could they be? This is much less a criticism of the songs that follow “Control” and more of an accolade to the quality of “Control.” The song is really something.
For that reason, “Love Your Bones” and “Transformers” are standout songs. By these, the sixth and seventh tracks, the softer tone and relaxed-by-comparison instrumentation is a welcomed shift as it invites the listener into a more intimate story. It summons the listener to ask for more, whereas up until this point, everything had been readily offered. The audience is happy to do the work this time. Marriott has such a beautiful voice that can take on many more tones than solely powerful, and these two tracks give a small glimpse into what that could be. Her voice is so pleasant as a standalone instrument, that future songs with more sparse instrumentation and softer vocals could be very intriguing.
How easy it would be for Marriott, having a voice with such refined technique that she could sell albums singing the phonebook, to throw together afterthought lyrics. All too often artists fall into this easy trap of writing lyrics that neither tell a story nor offer beautiful linguistic phrases, in exchange for a bombshell vocal tone. Marriott does not fall for this. Her rangey displays seem to be deliberately chosen based on emotional and artistic choices, entirely believable and additive. The lyrics tell stories, and while they often are eclipsed by the tone quality of all the moving parts in each song, if a particular lyric were zeroed into, there was nothing cheap or unnecessary. The lyrics were not the forefront, but they were there, they were deliberate, and they were strong.
Mentioning Mollie Marriott’s musical upbringing, her father Steve Marriott of Humble Pie, and her step-father singer Joe Brown, is with great hesitation. These are but pieces to Mollie Marriott’s musical story, a story that includes singing background for many artists, including Oasis. One listen to Truth Is A Wolf could clear up any preconceived notions, and surely remove her from parental shadows. Mollie Marriott is a musician in her own right, and a powerful one at that.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Love Your Bones
– King of Hearts
– Truth Is A Wolf
The Big Hit
Review by Alexandra Veltri