Amber Mark is fast becoming a big name in the world of R’n’B and with around 125k followers on Instagram, she has built up quite the audience. For those who may not be familiar with her on this side of the Atlantic, she’s a singer, songwriter, and producer who has lived everywhere from her birthplace of Tennessee to a monastery in India.
After teasing us with some fantastic singles, the full project is finally here, and I can say wholeheartedly that Miss Mark has delivered a very good LP, that will go down as a debut album to remember.
Amber Mark is working with a variety of people here but Julian Bunetta, who has worked on much of One Direction’s back catalogue, is the main producer. His experience is shown through the catchy hooks and enrapturing instrumentals, while still allowing the artist to stay true to her vision.
The first half of the album sees Mark try to overcome the insecurities within herself and learn to live life to the fullest. “One” the opening track does this very well with the vocals delivered in a very clear and honest way, over this funky 808’s production, that incorporates a sample of “Dear Bobby (The Note)” by Bobby Bland expertly. Another thing that sticks out here is references to her mother, with the line “I just want you proud of me up above,” highlighting her emotional anguish and the pain of losing a loved one.
This is a good example of how collaborative work can give good results, which is also visible on the catchy as hell “Foreign Things,” with Bunetta working with AFTERHRS (also collaborators with One Direction) and Two Fresh Beats to create this snappy instrumental with Mark’s swagger and confidence, showing she has her mojo back and ready to live her best life.
The first half of the album has other highlights like “Turnin’ Pages,” displaying her dynamic vocal range over 80’s inspired production, reminiscent of the sounds of the new Weeknd album. There can be times when there are too many cooks in the kitchen, with “Bubbles” feeling less dynamic and unique due to the many songwriters on board.
The second half of the album is where Amber Mark shines, with the first half being very grounded and this next part of the story taking us off the ground and up above, giving us all three dimensions of her personality.
“Out Of This World” gets this feeling spot on with the eerie, alien instrumental and strings creating this gentle vibe to match the feeling of finding a love that is not of this Earth. You can truly see the confidence and impressive vocal power on display from Miss Mark, showing she is in a much better place.
The album continues down this trajectory of this relationship in improving her self-esteem, until we conclude with “Event Horizon.” This has a more melancholic spacey sound, with Mark showing her producing and songwriting skills, ending things on a very emotional note as she asks if her mother is still flying and how she has helped guide her daughter.
“Three Dimensions Deep” impressed me with its powerful themes of love, loss and self-doubt orchestrated well by the duo of Mark and Bunetta, flowing well throughout and feeling like a complete experience.
Amber Mark truly stands out in the world of R’n’B, showcasing her vocal talent and songwriting ability. There is potential for improvement here and sometimes her skills are held back in exchange for mainstream appeal, but we have raw talent and someone who has a desire to tell an intriguing story.