Album Review: Noah Mroueh – ARK EP (Winner NMF Ep. 42)

Noah Mroueh writes with a style that I find addictively good. There’s a nice, airy feel to his melodies and the guitar really soothes the listener. You might compare him with Jason Reeves or even a band like Needtobreathe in a sense. Let me explain.

“Morning Dawn” has a nice kicking rhythm and some sneaky good guitar riffs, especially on the bridge. The vocal resonates perfectly over a bucolic melody that punctuates the beat. It’s folk pop music to perfection. Fans of bands like Brvches will find something to love here.

The second track “You Could Be Here” is a song about an alternative reality with a bit of snark and a bit of hope. Imagine. Dream. Hope for something romantic and special. There’s an unexpected spiritual dimension to the song and it really works. There are hand claps with a bit of a Lumineers style pop flavor, but it does make the song. The vocal harmonies are inverted (I think), making it feel a little disconcerting, but necessary for the alternative reality the song invokes.

The song “L.A.” is really great for similar reasons as the others, namely the guitar and the vocal. What sets the song apart, though, is space. There’s a kind of barrier between the parts of the song that makes it feel light and soaring. I really enjoy the track for the more atmospheric feel. You won’t hear any handclaps here, but it’s thought provoking and makes you concentrate.

“Wish You Were Mine” is a blues song hidden in a pop song hidden in a Ben Folds style stripped down alt rock track. It speaks of truth and beauty, sadness and frustration. In short, it’s the kind of song with layers beyond the typical pop song. What it won’t bring it terms of energy at the party, it brings in real truth when you’re alone on the subway or trying to get work done. In the parlance of our day, it will hit you “right in the feels.”

If you’re still reading, you get the sense I totally like the album. I do. It’s a really complete four songs. I think the harmonies are understated, but quality. The strength of the album is that it makes you think about the songs and feel them more than being distracted by outrageous instrumentation or sonic tricks (which is far too common in pop music today).

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