9 songs time-30:57
Although the publicity sheet for Danish singer Nina Massara’s debut U.S. release touts her as a modern day belter, her little girl-sex kitten voice couldn’t belt out a song if her life depended on it. Which is not to say that her vocal delivery doesn’t possess an irresistible seductiveness that in conjunction with the oft times suggestive lyrics strike a cjord deep in the male libido. Raised in Denmark by her American father and Danish mother, Nina grew up listening to the likes of Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo and Delbert Mclinton. Her musical schooling continued as her parents did the backstage catering for stars like B.B King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Feat and John Hiatt among many others. At the age of 18 she began bartending at Copenhagen’s storied Mojo Blues Bar, thus continuing her musical education.
Producer Marten Wittrock and Ray Weaver wrote all the music and words that come out of this sultry chanteuse. The production along with the assembled top notch musicians delver a rootsy Americana amalgamation of a rustic auditory journey.
A punchy horn section heralds the funky title track “Watch Me”. It’s sentiment is the age old challenge. These aren’t the actual lyrics, but the gist of the message is-“Oh, you think I can’t do such and such? Watch Me!”. The homage to New Orleans “Big Easy” features some nice and lazy distorted slide guitar as Nina lists elements of the “Nawlins” experience, including the “I can tell where you got your shoes scam” often perpetrated on tourists. A Little Feat groove pervades “Impossible To Resist” a duet with Colin Brooks that that includes nifty percussion and horns.
It tends to be a bit repetitive, but “All That I’ll Ever Need” is a slow and seductive R&B gem. The upbeat and breezy “Something New” is a breath of fresh air. “I need a dog with some brand new tricks”. The shuffling drums and horn accents of “You Ain’t Up To It” lead in to an upbeat tongue-in-cheek put down song, where size does matter to the narrator. Nina works her seductive, hushed sexy voice as she recants how she can make the men go “Crazy” in all the right ways. “Drive Drive Drive” works on two levels, as a driving song and a touch of sexual innuendo. Great guitar playing is here as it is throughout the CD. Morten Wittrock delivers Dr. John style piano playing along side the muted trumpet of Peter Marott on the closing “Full Grown Woman”.
Quite a stunning American debut for Nina and her cohorts. It’s all here-dynamic singing, superb songwriting, grade-A musicianship and sterling production. Looks like smooth sailing towards success in the states!