Getting straight to it, first song was -in a good way- surprising. It gives a promising first impression. I like seeing piano being put to good use, same applies to the keyboard. The vocals are good, kinda like Beth Gibbons style-wise. However, I think sometimes I have a problem with the vocals’ programming; they sound kinda strangled. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain about in first song. I liked the surprising moment when she switched from singing to speaking the lyrics, liked it even much more when the electric guitar kicked in. I didn’t expect it and I loved it.

Second song ‘Music Box’ is even better! The music is haunting and enchanting. The keyboard sound kind of sounded retro-ish. My only complaint is that it’s too short. I think I wouldn’t have minded if it had lasted for 20 minutes. It could even work somehow. Next, ‘Shadows’ is sung by Emanuel this time and not Maria. I think his vocals fit the music too. Male vocals sound fresh and again, unexpected but I can’t say the same for everything else. The vocal melodies sounded similar to the ‘Music Box’. The song as a whole doesn’t sound much different from its predecessor’s but that’s only my first false impression. Soon, it turned out to be another haunting nice track and not as ‘Music Box’, but in its own way.

Maria’s vocals are back in ‘Darkest Hours’; one that is more on the Trip Hop side than the others. They really nailed it here. The programming and production is satisfying. With a tiny bit more polishing, though unnecessary for me, it may even apply to the “mainstream taste”. ‘23 de Diciembre’ is a short doll house-ish instrumental. ‘Yourself’ is again, different. A bit heavier and a bit less neat, I can’t say it’s a favorite no more can I say that it’s bad. But I know it’s not a favorite. Favorite thing about it is the piano work.

Skipping to ‘Void’, which is a very interesting one here! The music, guitar, lyrics (you get some French here), it’s one of many highlights here. I liked how they worked the instruments here. Emanuel returns vocally in the Electro-dance track ‘Endless’ and he sounds perfect in it. Last two tracks ‘Endless’ and ‘Take Me Back’ are as enjoyable and interesting as rest of the album.

Let’s wrap it up now! For a debut, Monsters is awesome and enjoyable. You always get that feeling that the song has ended too soon whether it’s a 2 or a 6 minute-track. Things also get haunting and creative at many points. The lyrics are pretty good and the artwork is awesome. Only complaint is that although the sound quality is good, the instrumental recording could get more professional but other than that, I’m surely going to listen to that album again, maybe quite a lot.

Favorites: ‘Shadows’, ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘Void’.
Recommend it to fans of: Portishead and Bjork.

Written by: Noura M.Moussa
Edited By: Nehal A.Ali

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