Ammouri – ‘Dare To Be Happy’ (Pride And Joy Music) Print
Written by Tim Bolitho-Jones   
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 04:20

Ammouri artworkIn certain corners of the music industry, Swedish singer Marina Ammouri is already being spoken of as the second coming of Doro Pesch. Listening to her debut album, it’s certainly understandable why you’d reach that conclusion however it’s also premature. She’s undeniably charismatic and possesses a voice that’s razor sharp and dripping with arrogance, but unfortunately the album isn’t good enough. In fact, it’s downright disappointing and comes across as a massive missed opportunity. Ammouri looks and acts like a rock star, the songs simply aren’t good enough to back her up.


It starts off promisingly enough with ‘Fill Your Heart With Love,’ a track that wastes no time in showcasing the record’s strongest asset; her voice. She has a very impressive range and there’s enough riot grrl coursing through every syllable to make each word sound profane. The way she curls the word ‘heart’ in particular is utterly filthy. It’s a shame then that the song itself is a one-dimensional affair that doesn’t contain any memorable hooks and never really comes to life.


‘Monster Of Your Own Creation’ picks things up a gear and is marginally better, but the truly dreadful ‘Starlight’ ruins any chance of the album improving. Clearly intended to be a single, the chorus in this one is lacklustre and it’s more irritating than catchy. The following title track contains flashes of inspiration and ‘Manipulation’ isn’t too bad, but ‘Dare To Be Happy’ mainly veers between average and awful.


Part of the reason for this might be the uninspiring production. The guitars are especially low in the mix and lack the all-important crunch to get the adrenaline going. They’re tinny and difficult to make out, the emphasis on Ammouri’s voice occasionally making it seem like an acapella record even while power chords buzz in the background.



It’s undeniable though that the songs are lacking. The sub-par ballad ‘Bad Illusion’ is a major offender but the worst is saved for last in ‘He Knows Everything About Me.’ This piano and violin-led closer is bewilderingly awful; a confused mess that comes across like something Axl Rose would have recorded during a mid-eighties coke binge and then immediately forgotten about. If you’ve ever been subjected to a rambling, incoherent conversation with a drunken emotional mate at 3am, this is the musical equivalent.


This is all the more frustrating because Ammouri herself could clearly be a force to reckon with if she only had better material to back her up. There’s nothing here that makes you want to throw your fist skyward and praise the Gods for the existence of heavy metal, just an awkward and difficult album that has one or two good tracks and is largely forgettable. This is definitely a case where the lead actress is better than the movie she’s in and if we’re to play that analogy out, Ammouri is Margot Robie as Harley Quinn while ‘Dare To Be Happy’ is ‘Suicide Squad.’


‘Dare To Be Happy’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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