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Go to the Masha Qrella website  Masha Qrella - Luck [Monika - 2002]

Luck is the debut album of Masha Qrella, also active on guitar & bass in Contriva and on keyboard with Mina. Both bands didn't use any vocals in their music (only seldom) and that's probably why Qrella has decided to record a solo album.

Masha Qrella has been working on this album secretly, recorded at home using some sounds from the Contriva recording sessions and various guests. She plays most instruments by herself tough, and that's probably why Luck has a more minimal approach than a complete band would have. The album has an acoustic touch, especially the guitars, but the song structures are easily recognized as pop music. However, it remains quite experimental and will almost certainly never reach the charts. A lot of unorthodox sounds, loops and cuts are added in the detailed production, in the contrary to the polished productions we see on MTV every day.

Maybe the above story sounds inaccessible, but the minimal & calm music and the full-packed production are entirely kept together with Masha Qrella's warm voice. She doesn't really sound unique, but I can't think of a comparison either. I'm glad to hear that this isn't another untalented good-looking going for the big money but rather concentrates on the music and the feeling it raises, in a very personal way. As expected, the personal way in which this album is performed is reflected upon the lyrics too. "Love" and "friendship" are the key subjects dealt with, expressing her view upon her surroundings.

The first track that attracts attention is the 2nd You Won't Be There. The hip-hop beat is accompanied by only a few guitar sounds and some keyboards, resulting in Masha's beautiful voice, repeating the same refrain over and over again, becomes the main resonance. The title track is perhaps the best work on this album; very emotional and compelling. The same counts for track 8, Hypersomnia, but this one has a more poppy and a slightly happier feeling. After the 10th track Insecure, we get another "hidden" track called Vertikal, which is the only song not written by Masha Qrella herself. Christian Nikolaus Conrad and Marcus Weiser have put together a fine accessible track with slightly harder guitars, danceable beats and more electronic sounds. It's a pity that this is an instrumental work; Masha's vocals would certainly have completed the picture.

I must admit that I found it hard to keep this disc in my CD player at first, but after a few forced listens I started to appreciate Luck more and more. In the beginning only Masha Qrella's vocals stand out, but this album grows on you, and later you'll realize the music is certainly not bad either. I still can't think of any comparison, but I don't think that really important either. Luck is a very good album, particularly for comfortable moments of relaxation. Perhaps not worth the full four kudos, but certainly 3 and a half.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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