I first fell in love with Maria’s voice back in 2003 when I heard her song “I Give, You Take” on the radio. I ran out and bought her album, My Soul, and I was hooked from that moment on. For years, I tried to find out information about a follow up album or tour dates. However, when an artist has a common stage name, it’s not that easy. Do you know how many Maria’s are on the internet? 1,790,000,000. Thanks Google! After a decade of searching I rediscovered the real deal. She was working on a new album and added a last name. I was ecstatic!
Maria Hamer-Jensen’s new album, Oh So Full Of Promise, isn’t an album that will easily get the press it deserves. It’s not overly produced or a PR department’s pet project. This is a labor of love that’s telling the tale of love, happy and heart wrenching all at once. It doesn’t nestle comfortably into any genre of music, instead touches many. Sort of torchy blues, piano bar, pop balladish. Nothing needed but a piano, some strings and the voice that is knowingly Maria’s.
It’s the type of album that I’d put on during a storm, turn off the lights, burn candles, grab a blanket, a glass of merlot (I don’t drink but ice tea in a can isn’t mood appropriate), and sit by the window watching Mother Nature’s tears streak down the window pane. Even better, I want to see this album performed live. I want to go to New York and climb down some cement steps with wrought iron railings into some basement that houses a small cabaret theater that’s been around since Prohibition. With overhead lights low, white votive candles lit, wallpapered walls in red and gold, and dark wood tables for seating; a three piece band plays on stage while Maria sings her heart out.
Oh So Full Of Promise is the vocalization of real love not the romanticized crap that Harlequin sells. It is stripped-down, emotionally exposed, realness. Not many albums are worth waiting over a decade for but this one definitely is.