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Single Review: MJ Songstress “Carousel”

There’s an understated playfulness that fills the air around us as MJ Songstress’ “Carousel” begins to play, and though it will swell significantly as the singer begins to unfurl the groove-assisted narrative from behind the mic, it won’t act as the primary focus in this piece at all.

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That position will rotate from the groove to the lead vocal and back to the quiet synthesized harmony smoldering from beneath the stealthy percussion, with listeners being left challenged to keep up with the tremendously jagged pace of this thrill-seekers’ anthem. It’s fast, smooth and cosmopolitan in all the right ways, making it a perfect track to get you turned on to MJ Songstress’ sound.

As noted, the vocal in this song and its music video would be enough to bring me back for more, but it’s coupled with such a fearsome rhythmic assault that I would be wrong to describe “Carousel” as being a singer-centric release. The multidimensionality of the composition doesn’t end at black and white tempo changes; it bleeds from the style of the poetry to the way it’s presented with a high-key adrenaline taking center stage. It takes a lot of depth and intellect to construct something as deceptively simple as this song is, and I hope it isn’t the last of its kind we’ll hear this year.

MJ Songstress has a really big future ahead of her, and if there were ever any debate about this before she got into the studio to record this mix of “Carousel,” I think it’s going to dry up by the time it gets into steady rotation somewhere on the FM dial over the summer. There’s nothing quiet or subtle about her personality, but in this track we get to meet a sleeker angle of her composing style that I immediately connected with as a fan. It’s quality material, and I think most pop fans will share my sentiments.

Melissa Fossett

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