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Marmar Oso and Annie Malee’s ‘Searching For You (Music Inspired by the Motion Picture “Abandonment”)’ – Song review

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Marmar Oso and Annie Malee’s ‘Searching For You (Music Inspired by the Motion Picture “Abandonment”)’ – Song review

Debut song from the upcoming motion picture “Abandonment” music collection is a soulful ballad with a twist

“Searching for You” is a simple, painful, piano-assisted song which builds slowly as a story about the search for a lost love mirroring the search for a lost person.  This analogy is further underscored by the creative use of various bits of technology in the intro and outro of the song.  Each time, this digital metaphor is blended beautifully into the track through the use of creative musical storytelling.  Piano ostinatos spring out of digital signals.  Sustained piano chords morph into digitized artifacts on the same pitch.  I have yet to see such an inventive way of interweaving technology into a simple, emotional story about lost love. 

This is brilliant songwriting by Malee – who pulls triple duty as co-writer, producer, and singer – in her music debut. 

And Malee’s duet partner – Platinum R&B star Marmar Oso – brings the heat to his performance.  As the song progresses, Oso’s voice transitions from pain to power.  He blends soulful vocals a la John Legend with a tender brokenness.  He displays a natural penchant for storytelling – this voice is a man in pain, exhausted by the whipsaws of love – and he executes it incredibly effectively here.  

As for Malee, her vocal theatrics call to mind the OGs of this genre.  Mariah is the first obvious parallel: Malee shows off multiple octaves with ease, and even sprinkles in an additional bluesy, sexy, jazz singer vibe.  We get to hear her glistening soprano when she sails atop the higher parts of the song.  But on the lower parts of the track, she displays an even rarer gift amongst sopranos with such a stunning high range: an ability to hit very low notes effortlessly, caressing them with a smoky, silky timbre.

If Malee is already delivering vocals this powerful and co-writing songs this potent in her mere debut, it’s anyone’s guess where she’ll go from here. She could easily become music’s next breakout ingenue.

As for the instrumentation, emotional piano riffs that echo R&B/pop ballads like “Stay” and “Goodbye My Lover” are paired with a gentle drum section which brings in the rhythm to this rhythm-and-blues track.  

And speaking of percussion, in homage to the Appalachian setting of the film “Abandonment”, Appalachian folk artist Steven Sandifer performs a cool body percussion mix which seamlessly blends with the modern feel and rhythmic vibe of the drums while also representing the centuries-old Appalachian folk tradition.  Like the interweaving of modern tech sounds into a simple love story, this inclusion of Appalachian folk traditions into a modern R&B percussion line to provide musical coherence with the film is an innovative piece of musical storytelling by Malee.

The end result of all of these layers is a moving, nuanced creation that makes you feel like you’re already experiencing a movie of lost love play out in your ears.  It is a wonderful musical teaser for the actual movie, “Abandonment”, to come.

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