EP Review: Madison Malone "I & II"

Review by Jerbria Baker

Step into the strong, shoes of Madison Malone with her newly released album named, "I&II." Malone's beautiful, powerful voice is the main focus of this album as she unapologetically sings every lyric representing her. The journey of this album is to take a deep breath and admire each insightfully constructed song.

Uniquely separated but connected, this album is split into two versions of each song. The first track in the first half is called "Fragile Heart 1". It is wrapped with the calming instrumentals of the piano. Lyrically, Malone expresses how fragile she has become within how she loves, feels, sees, and even sounds. The next track is "Home 1". This song has a more upbeat rendition of the piano as the melody and rhythm of her voice follows it. She speaks about the place she only ever knew as she grew up and that it can be hard to let go of something or someplace that contains every single part of you. Everything comes to an end and can be bittersweet as after you let go, you can begin something new. The next song on the album is "Quiet Down 1". Fast guitar strums are introduced in this track and acoustic tones. This one talks about how it can be hard to express real feelings and experiences when you have been shut down or made to be silenced, even when it's a time to be as loud as you can to be heard and understood.

"Simply Love 1" is a more in tuned, mindful imagery driven track that absorbs you inside it. It represents a full dream of wanting a simple life and affection among an honest relationship, being able to grow a fulfilling life with the partner she has in mind, and grow a family together. The last track for the first half is "Treehouse 1." The piano instrumentals return with a more whimsical tone. Malone reminisced about her past when she was a child. How it made her feel among a place where a child may have felt the most themselves and comfortable like a treehouse.

Starting the second half of the album, "Fragile Heart 2", has a more upbeat sound near the middle of the track. She sings about how you don't have to settle for something you are not passionate about or get into from impatience. Wondering eyes are then developed, and you shall see other things that are in store. Being fragile doesn't mean you are weak or can't handle anything. The next song, "Home 2", continues the journey of accepting that things and people come and go and when its time, there is no turning back. Its a goodbye to her past. The next track, "Quiet Down 2", takes a stronger approach to protesting against being silenced of who she is and the person someone chooses to accept about themselves. She shouts even louder through her vocals and lyrics to let her listeners know this.

The second to last song, "Simple Love 2", she continues the forever love and family story she wants for herself and the ones she helps grow after her. It beautifully shows inside her mind, and how it would change the world, she wished to create, which is considered simple to her. She concludes the album with "Treehouse 2". She again goes back to the mindset of her childhood. Nothing was always the harsh reality she knew outside of the wild, charming imaginary life she once made in her head and the treehouse she once kept close to her.

Warm and inviting, experiencing the broken down walls of Madison Malone has been one of the most immersive, empathic pieces of work one can ever listen to, knowing it is okay to tell your story. If that way is to connect with listeners and fans through the heart of music, then so be it. Make sure to give her new album a deep listen, its one to tug at your heartstrings.

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