I have to admit, one thing I’ve always wanted to do is go to an AA meeting. Not because I’m an alcoholic. I just want to sit there and listen to people air their dirty laundry in public and try to top one another with their stories. It appeals to the voyeur in me. I know that would be disrespectful so I haven’t done it…at least not yet.
So until that time comes, I submerge myself in bad reality tv, watch documentaries about freaks, and listen to emotionally filled music. In my gay opinion, Maria Mena is one of the most emotionally exposed singer/song writers out there. She sings stories of low self esteem, verbal abuse, a horrible childhood, volatile relationships, and trips into emotional darkness; listening to her albums is like sitting in on someone else’s therapy session. Her new album Growing Pains is no exception.
Ladies and fellow fags, Growing Pains is the ultimate break up album. Maria croons for those of you who dumped the only one who ever truly loved you (“Good God”), if the one you loved gave up on you but you need them to admit they were wrong (“Confess”) or if rumor has it that your ex is now seeing someone else (“I Don’t Want To See You With Her”). You can throw this album on, bust out the gallon of ice cream, wash it down with glasses of chardonnay, and cry your eyes out as Maria relates to all you’re going through. Although ending a relationship is a sad topic and her lyrics are depressing, the songs vary from ballads to upbeat. How she can make a break up song sound so damn happy is beyond me. My favorite song on the album is “Leaving You” which has a great beat although it’s about breaking someone’s heart and informing them that it’s going to be just as painful tomorrow as it is today. However, the album does end on a bright note. On “You Deserve Better” she tells her ex to save themselves while she saves herself and on “Growing Pains” she learns that just because she went through this pain it was worth it in the end.
Maria is Norwegian and not well known in the US. In 2004 her song “Your The Only One” barely broke into the US Top 100 chart but that’s how I discovered her and I’ve been a fan ever since. Her voice has only matured and gotten better over the years. She’s someone that I would love to see in concert but she doesn’t tour here, at least not in all the years I’ve been following her career. You know when you go to a show and you look around at all the other fans and think “these are my peeps”…sometimes that can be quite an eye opening experience. I have a feeling her show would be exactly that.