Album Reviews

Nina Massara

Watch Me

Artist:     Nina Massara

Album:     Watch Me

Label:     CSP Records

Release Date:     03/03/2017

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Bold and brassy, with a gorgeous set of pipes, newcomer Nina Massara doesn’t lack for confidence. With its swagger, the opening title track to her classy, surprisingly assured debut LP Watch Me heralds the Danish/American singer’s arrival with sheer chutzpah and style; Massara’s disarming feminine wiles win over converts to her elegant, bluesy Americana made for cocktails and places with strict dress codes.

Undeniably alluring and kittenish, Massara’s vocals add captivating definition and personality to clever lyrics and sophisticated, intoxicating melodies written by producer Morton Wittrock and Ray Weaver. She is not someone to be trifled with. As carefree as can be, Massara somehow manages to also sound worldly and mature. Like some young burlesque queen who doubles as a street-smart grifter, she bumps and grinds through tantalizing nightclub crawls and shuffles such as “Crazy,” “You Ain’t Up to It,” “Drive Drive Drive” and “Full Grown Woman” – Massara oozing coy playfulness, independence and unabashed, empowered sexuality.

She grooves with unhurried, glowing instrumentation that swings and sashays in easy rhythm to Massara’s every utterance. Warm, perfectly arranged horns, shots of electric guitar guile, dancing piano and simmering organ mingle with seductive percussion throughout, as the jazzy “Big Easy” – her New Orleans tribute – could stop traffic on Bourbon Street and the soulful “Impossible to Resist” – her sparkling duet with Colin Brooks (formerly of Band of Heathens) – offers a rare display of romantic vulnerability. She’ll draw comparisons to Valerie June and Rhiannon Giddens, or even Bonnie Raitt, but Massera is her own woman.

—Peter Lindblad

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