Loaded Gun EP Album Review
Chrystyna Marie
  • 4/5
Reviewed by Jen Dan

Blues-rock/pop ballad songwriter Chrystyna Marie is set to release a powerful EP graced with her vivid vocals and lyrics.

Canadian-born singer-songwriter Chrystyna Marie is a long-standing veteran in the music field who has recently taken the reins of her career and is showcasing her best facets as a solo artist.  The classically-trained vocalist started singing in the studio in her late teens and was the lead singer of the L.A.-based pop band Greencat.  Marie decided to strike out on her own and be 100% in control of her material and the result of her ambitions has taken the form of her Loaded Gun EP which will be discharged on February 29th, 2016.

Marie possesses a set of powerful, expressive pipes and an assertive demeanor that is amply reflected in the 4 gritty tunes that comprise Loaded Gun.  She segues easily between blues-infused numbers and sweeping, pop-oriented ballads, sometimes fusing the two on one song.  The hook of each track is Marie’s resonant vocals and emotions and her insightful lyrics.  Many times she sings vividly about relationships and overcoming heartbreak, but her words can also be extrapolated to a wider viewpoint of how to approach the world in general.

Marie stalks purposefully through the torch power-ballad “Loaded Gun”, shadowed by a measured, but slinky rhythm of pronounced drum hits, ticking cymbals, burning jags of guitar, sustained synths, and occasional sharper guitar note punctuation.  She tells it like it is to a two-timing partner, unequivocally stating that “You shot me down just for fun / but tonight ya better run.”  A palpable menace hangs over the bluesy intro of “Down The Road” with its coiled guitar line and echoed drum thump.  Marie proclaims “Just trying to find me some light.” on the initial verse before she swoops through the uplifting chorus sections where she reveals that she’s “finally home” amid added vocal support, a deep undertow of piano and synth notes, and a pressing beat.

“No More” is another direct statement about heartbreak and resiliency from Marie that’s fashioned into a heartfelt, sweeping ballad.  Gentle piano notes and guitar chime and softly hit drums form a bed for Marie to confess that “I knew once you walked through the door / that you’d break my heart.”  But she’s nothing if not a fighter and on the soaring chorus she declares unambiguously “I’ll bring you to your knees on this battleground / Babe, you can leave…” 

EP closer “The Tower” is the song with the most thematic reach as Marie questions amid a storm “Where do I belong? / Wind and ashes / Everything is gone.”  A nocturnal ambience floats over the tune as reverb guitar lines and contemplative, bright, echoed notes create pinpoints of light in the dusk.  Marie is shaken by the storm, but ready to rebuild, sending a message of strength with the lyrics “There will be no breaking down / Only breaking through.”  Chrystyna Marie’s Loaded Gun EP is a definite breakthrough for her in terms of her lyrics, vocal abilities, and songcraft.


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