Ali Marcus – Americana Hotel

As the title suggests, Americana Hotel is a place to stay for a healthy dose of roots-influenced singer-songwriter Ali Marcus to spin some tales of love and happiness.

Marcus’ voice is singing country songs but her voice seems to fit the quintessential female singer-songwriter. Her voice is clear enough to distinguish what she’s saying, pretty enough to flow through each track, and never upstages her message by means of a powerful vocal performance.

“Talkin’ Nashville Tornado Blues” has the most movement of the album, painting a scene of imminent danger as she talk-sings through the track. Marcus seems to blur between singing and talking, as if she’s performing poetry. It works for her style since folk-singing is primarily concerned with lyrics and storytelling but she crams so much into songs that it’s hard to get into.

Also, Americana Hotel seems to be a combination of Marcus’ ability to imitate her influences rather than embarking on her own.

On occasion, her way of singing seems more of an impression rather than genuine delivery. Since she’s placing so much focus on her lyrics, the music tends to feel processed and bland to make room for her voice. She reminds me of Alela Diane or Jenny Lewis the way she comes across like country-influenced indie rock. For anyone inclined to hear firty-five minutes of cutesy lyrics and mildly interesting songs, I urge you to check it out. Otherwise this may be too much of the same thing.