Scene and Heard – CCXCIX : Never Enough – Joan Mercury (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Never+Enough+Single+Cover.pngThe best pop music has the ability to walk fine lines between different worlds and is able to appeal to wide demographics without sacrificing its own integrity. We often see the opposite of this idea at work, at one extreme you find throwaway pop music aimed at the teen dollar to be used and discarded when the wheel of fashion turns, at the other music aimed at a mature audience often playing things safe, music consumers who have long ago decided what they like. Rarely do we find songs which appeal to both ends of the spectrum, songs which are sassy and fresh enough for the younger set but also refined and slick enough to become firm favourites through constant repeat. Just occasionally, music clever enough to fit into both camps simultaneously pops up on the radar and Never Enough is just such a song. 

Pop it may be but it is a track that mixes the infectiousness associated with that genre with some slick R&B grooves and unexpectedly soulful undercurrents. And it is the depth that these genres add to the song, the rising and emotive Hammond organ sound, the funky guitar lines, the sumptuous and often ethereal back vocals and the rising and falling of the songs dynamic from subtle interludes to soaring crescendoes, that provide its mass appeal status.

Never Enough also speaks of things that listers of any age can relate to, of being in a one sided relationship, of thoughts and feelings, love and longing, rather than employing lyrics which confine it to a more niche experience. Not everyone wants to hear about how Lit your party is or needs another twerk-fest video, and it is this broad accessibility, this integrity, this pop maturity, which is going to put her in good stead for a long career. 

As a teaser for her album Mercury Rising, this is a track that neatly sums up why we need to throw away our old prejudices and divided ways when looking at music genres and embrace a new and holistic musical age. For Joan Mercury does that most rare of things, she makes pop that sounds both grown up and wonderfully infectious at the same time. Throwaway pop is two-a-penny, it always has been, and that is pretty much the nature of the beast. But then pop written specifically for a more mature audience generally misses the point, taking itself too seriously and forgetting why it came into the room in the first place. Never Enough, however, is the perfect point where both worlds co-exist.

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