Reviews Zone

Malina Moye: Bad As I Wanna Be (Leopard Records) 23rd March 2018



3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)




Well, here it is! It’s the new album “Bad As I Wanna Be” by Malina Moye. Who, I hear you ask.  Don’t worry, I have no idea who this 33-year-old Ohio native is either, so I read up on her via the press blurb sent with the album and a trawl on the net.

She sort of models herself musically and visually on a female Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone or Prince; and purveys a brand of her own personalised “Rock-Funk”.  She’s had some quite interesting career-launching stuff in the USA going on, some chart action and money pumped into her career.

But this was four, five or more years ago. The trail goes cold after her debut album “Diamonds and Guitars” in 2011 and her 2014 EP, “Rock-N-Roll Baby”. 2018 has rolled around and here is her “new” magnum opus. The closing track “K-Otic” features the legendary bass man Bootsy Collins, lifted from Malina’s 2014 EP.

The European, late middle-aged rock market has never been averse to a girl and a guitar, playing blues-rock or classic rock, and Moye capitalises on this with a slightly dated-looking cover image of herself with guitar in front of a desert background. Think a background straight out of an episode of Knight Rider and/or Airwolf. She’s donned fishnet stockings and over knee boots with stiletto heels, clutching her “Leftie”, upside down Fender Strat’.

The press release states “Guitar Visionary Malina Moye Announces New Empowerment Album Amid Entertainment Industry’s Female Revolution…” There doesn’t seem to be anything revolutionary or empowering about the choice of provocative shots and poses of Melina in the CD booklet.

The Youtube clips don’t really back up the “Guitar visionary” hyperbole and neither does the album. The edge-less but sophisticated production is more orientated towards radio play, and the first two songs are hook-laden, quite eighties sounding,  riffy pop songs rather than raucous, attitude-soaked, guitar rock.

That comes later – mainly with track six of the 10, “A Little Rough”, which goes some way to match the album’s musical content with how Malina is being promoted in the marketing materials and on the cover.

 So a somewhat slightly confusing package all in all. But that said; I enjoyed the music to be honest – seven cuts written by Moye, two co-writes and one cover – and warmed to her slightly streetwise voice.  I liked the single “Jumpin’ “, but even that is in itself a baffling mixture of contemporary production over a tune which sounds like it’s from an eighties movie, and which has no Strat’ playing or rock content to speak of. The record produced by Bjorn “Polarbear” Soderberg and Malina Moye.

The big question is whether Malina will find an audience, and my opinion with this release is that there are too many bewildering and conflicting sales points that will lead punters (in this case classic rock fans) to expect one thing from the album, and perhaps be turned off when they hear the sounds contained within. Or maybe not…

By Giles Robson



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