by Thomas Bedward January 31, 2021
A homegrown pop-talent, Meena De Silva made her mark on Adelaide’s pop and RnB scenes early in 2019, striking out with the sophisticated, earthy singles of ‘In the Mirror’, ‘Done with You’ and ‘Runaway’. A sharp trilogy of releases, they perfectly encapsulated Meena’s unique sound and expressive, honey-toned voice, catapulting her into the spotlight and setting the stage for her highly anticipated debut album. With comparisons to Rhianna and Ariana Grande still fresh, and an expressive sound that flows with intimate, sometimes heartbreaking lyrics, the stage is well and truly set for Meena to breakthrough into the mainstream.
A ten-track release that paints a wonderfully vivid picture, ‘Call on Me’ is Meena’s first full-length album, and it’s easily one of the most engaging pop debuts that we’ve heard in quite some time. Recorded at Spare Second Recording Co. and released only a few weeks ago, it’s already carved a joyous path through the underground scene, blending lavish indie-pop with shimmering RnB vibes.
Opening with ‘Runaway’, Meena’s album sets an instant tone, emerging from the silence with waves of shimmering synth tones and quickfire production. Meena’s vocals join the proceedings with an ensnaring sense of self, rolling into focus through waves of gorgeous textured sounds that soon take centre stage. Drifting somewhere between sensual pop and glistening RnB vibes, the opening cut is a song that’s impossible to deny, and within the first four minutes of the album, you’ll already be head over heels for Meena.
In second track ‘You’re Gonna Be Somebody’, Meena creates an emotive, uplifting and fiercely original sound that flows with power and passion, carrying forward the spirit of ‘Runaway’ and ensuring that Meena’s sound is one you’ll remember. In ‘Done with You’ and ‘Call on Me’, Meena delivers swirling atmospherics and shifting cinematic sounds, cementing her sound alongside a sprinkle of piano keys and some sharp, stoic percussion. Bringing some welcome diversity to the mix, ‘Everything We Have’ shines through a distinct rock edge, as well as stripping back the gossamer to reveal a more timeless, semi-acoustic sound.
In the latter half of the album, Meena continues to impress with the slow, piano-led balladry of ‘Paid My Dues’, wandering indie-inspired melodies in ‘More Than This’ and previous single ‘In the Mirror’, and some evocative soul-pop brilliance in ‘Take All You Sweet Time’. It’s a triumphant blend of heart, soul, passion, building wonderfully to the final upbeat epic of ‘Lovely and Loved’, an unyielding final cut that revels in danceable sounds and undeniable energy.
An impressive blend of moving pop melodies and deeply evocative lyrics, ‘Call on Me’ has everything you could possibly want in a modern pop release, and Meena should be incredibly proud of it. A triumph in more ways than one, it's easy to see the album becoming an unforgettable modern classic, and if Meena can keep producing records of this quality, she’ll be an international star in no time at all.
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