Album Review: Jade Diary – Mermaid

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It’s difficult to find a needle in a haystack, isn’t it? There are plenty of pieces of hay that might promote themselves as make-shift needles but, alas, when it comes to the nitty gritty, only the shiny metal of a true needle will suffice. This is what it’s like on the unsigned scene today. With the development of the internet, anybody can pluck a few chords and call themselves a musician. Unarguably, it has it’s benefits, but it isn’t an easy task to find somebody with massive potential to get excited about – yet, from a sea of questionable talents, Jade Diary has emerged with her first record, Mermaid, that proves that she is a needle nestling away in the hay.

‘Mermaid’ is the first full length release from Cheryl Lim’s project, bringing together her dulcet tones with her humble tunes and choruses the size of Everest. The one thing I respect most about Jade Diary, and ‘Mermaid’ only serves to further this, is that Lim’s songwriting is second to none. She pens songs that, given enough backing and support, could easily crack the mainstream. I mentioned in my review of her EP, ‘Love Thy Will Be Done’, that ‘A Thousand Days’, is one of the most magnificent AOR pieces you are likely to hear this year.

Jade Diary sits somewhere between Lady Antebellum and a modern day Karen Carpenter. If you want some mature tunes delivered with conviction and honesty, then look no further. One obvious standout from the opus is the gorgeous ‘Rivers’, a mellow affair with a shimmery sheen on it’s slick production and a chorus that shines equally as bright. Likewise, ‘Cold Hearted’ is immensely catchy and has touches of the 80s about it’s synthesised build up – the song begs to be made a single, with ‘your scent it lingers and it steals away my sanity’ being one of the most addictive vocal lines I’ve heard in a while.

The price Jade Diary has paid for producing a more alternative and experimental record, however, is that it isn’t as instant as her previous material. ‘Landscape of Dreams’, the first EP, boasted four tracks that buried their way into your subconscious from the very first moment you heard them, but ‘Mermaid’ takes a lot more listening and a bit more time to unlock it’s merits. Take that as you will; it’s an album that, as a result, should keep you coming back and has plenty to get you hooked on the glorious beauty of Jade Diary’s music.

Words: Simon McMurdo


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