Release date: June 6, 2005

User Review
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“Marion is the f**king most talented new artist I’ve worked with since I’ve been making music!” A quote like this will of course get your attention. Also, when you take into consideration that it comes from Mötley Crüe’s main songwriter, Nikki Sixx, it must mean a thing or two. Now, everyone knows that womanizer Sixx is all about that censored word you just read, but assume that there is one more girl on this planet (except for Tommy Lee’s mom) who turns him down, and that the work relationship between Nikki and Marion Raven is strictly music related –- just to be a little serious here.

Marion Raven has been a star since her early teens. Together with Marit Larsen, she enjoyed massive success with M2M, and has probably experienced more in the “school of life” than she ever learned via her old and grumpy teachers. M2M was signed to a major label, but in the midst of a USA tour supporting Jewel, that money-oriented sucker (record company) let them go. Of course, Marion was quickly re-signed for a solo deal — an occurence most people thought had to do with her stunning looks. Therefore, Marion had to cope with the world out there believing she was under a contract just to cure old men’s inabilities, and rumors circulated that Marit Larsen was the only real talent in M2M.

Here I Am has been called “too calculated” by some press people, whose dream is to make sure that readers remember the journalist’s name more than the artist’s. Of course, it contains a good handful of potential hits, like the single “Break You,” the titletrack, “End Of Me,” as well as the Nikki Sixx co-penned “Heads Will Roll”. “Break You” and “End Of Me,” to name a few, are results of Marion cooperating with the amazingly talented Max Martin, who’s had his hand in the pie with respect to almost every hit single over the last umpteen years. So is Marion just performing other people’s music, like so many out there today, and being a puppet and a moneyspinner for record companies and producers?

Hell no! Because the best song on Here I Am is “For You I’ll Die” –- an incredibly beautiful ballad written by Marion alone!

Here I Am is a big “shut the f**k up” to all those who didn’t believe in her, supposedly including an ex-boyfriend. Not only does it have high class melodies and hits that can take the young girl all the way to the top, but it also has lots of emotions and a more-than-solid dose of Marion’s identity displayed in the music as well as in the lyrics. The only filler is the ballad and duet with Art Alexakis & Everclear, which would have worked best as a B-side …

You might have guessed by now that Marion Raven’s music isn’t of the kind that is normally reviewed (or praised) here at Metal Express. This works in both the Pop and Rock categories, though the music sometimes is crunchy and has slightly distorted guitars within it. The melodies are simply too good to be ignored by anyone who grew up with Melodic Metal in the eighties, and will work for any rocker who has an MTM or a Frontiers CD in their collection (in fact this one melts the competition with most CDs that typical AOR labels release). Not unlike Ana Johnsson’s amazing The Way I Am, where Max Martin also played a significant role, Here I Am will appeal to anyone who likes catchy music, be it your aunt, neighbor, or simply you. You’d be a fool if you don’t give Marion a chance … and since when was it a crime to be good looking???


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