Review by Jamie Glenn
After her release of a self-empowering track “YOU” in 2017 Sharlene-Monique returns with her first five-track EP earlier this month.
The opening track “Awe and Wonder” has a soft undertone paired with a beat that picks up as the song progresses. There are very soothing, optimistic lyrics from Sharlene-Monique sharing the ins and outs of an everyday routine. Billy Crabtree contributes underlying vocals on this track with a John Legend like style sound.
Cultural diversity is implemented into the instrumentation of this track. The sounds of an African drum to coincide with Sharlene-Monique’s message to always see the good in life, she writes, “Always, never I’ll forget to look outside the box and love the little things. Always, never I’ll forget to look inside my heart. I’m happy with this life I live.” Sharlene-Monique says that “‘Awe & Wonder’ was written with Jake Isaac, he is amazing. I knew I wanted to write a song about finding the good and gold in the moments of nothingness that life sometimes presents and within around an hour it was written.”
Some songs, on the other hand, take longer to come together. The title track, “Destiny” offers listeners a series of an internal reflectional monologue of what destiny has come to mean strung alongside a soft acoustic drum style beat and relaxed vocal experimentations. Sharlene-Monique shared with us how this song came together, “‘Destiny’ took Chris and me well over a year to write. All we had was the guitar melody & the chorus. It had to be right and after around 3 rewrites it was finished. This song is for those who want all [that] life has to offer.”
“Seeing Love” is an optimistic view of a new relationship that depicts two people who “started off as friends.” This is a calm track that’ll be relatable for most listeners as we all hope and dream of what could be. “Seeing Love” is a beautiful view of what it feels like when you first fall in love. A sense of positive optimism is echoed throughout this entire EP but “Seeing Love” offers listeners with the more vulnerable side of happiness that only the early stages of falling in love can bring. Sharlene-Monique share what her track “Seeing Love” means to her. “Seeing Love’ is about Chris and I. I wanted to talk about all aspects of my life and I find relationships such a mystery, especially my marriage. I am always amazed by the moments when Chris and I are not connecting… what seemed like the worst moment turns into our greatest strength. My view of love is constantly evolving and I think the beauty of love is very often found in the conflict.”
Stand-alone single and closing track “YOU” reminds listeners to see their beauty, remember their self-worth and embrace their inviability and is a beautiful note to end this soft, yet empowering EP on.
Hopeful and empowering lyricism offered on this ep is exactly what the world could use in a world that can often be filled with degrading and hateful messages. As you listen to the EP, you’re reminded to value self-love, dignity, and respect for oneself.
Sharlene-Monique is an artist that everyone should keep an ear out for, as she looks to spread positivity and self-love within the music industry.