Margo Rey – Colours

I first discovered Margo Rey’s music after seeing her photo and website address covering most of the side of a massive tour bus in the cell phone parking lot at Dulles Airport, Washington D.C., in 2012. Little did I know at that time the rich international background, the industry know-how, and the warm person behind the image, that I would come to appreciate over this last year. Born in Acapulco, Mexico, and raised in Texas, her album “Habit” (inspired by the Rolling Stones’ song “Heaven”) charted in the top 20 in the Billboard AC, as have a couple of her singles to date. Margo is a passionate pioneer of her very own genre of music, Organica, advocating the power of natural songwriting and performance. Following up her 2013 single “Tempted”, and her happy wedding day with Ron White in October 2013, she gives us “Colours”.

I’ve reviewed Margo’s work before; both album “Habit” and single “Tempted” were noteworthy in their diversity of styles. Margo’s background is in rock, but she covers a much broader spectrum in these releases, her last single being a cover of the 80’s hit by Squeeze. I’ve come to look forward to very high quality in Margo’s singles with her husky and precise vocal technique and first rate backing musicians; her lyrical content really resonates. In “Colours” she has delivered something different from her previous work, and it’s a direction that I love; an absolute killer piano ballad.

Enjoy listening to “Colours” here as you read the review.

Starting out with a solid and heart-warming piano, her voice is in quickly, after only 3 seconds. Her vocal is so very strong, and the start of the verse is playful, leaving me with the early idea that there are some strong dynamics coming. I’m called to mind of Beverley Craven and “Promise Me” from the 80’s. As vocal and piano goes, it’s not like anything recent that I’ve heard, sweet and clear, yet with subtly accented gravel that she turns on so well;

“I close my eyes and tell myself
When I feel judged by someone else
That love, love, love begins with me”

Listen out for that last line; “love, love, love”, the repeat, and the tone behind it, is familiar Margo. She uses the same technique a couple more times in this song, and it’s a catchy hook to make certain words memorable, on the first word of each of these phrases; “Love begins with me”, “no lies or make believe”, “hard, so hard to breathe”, “when will I believe”. Powerful messages made more emotionally relevant with some clever writing, the memorable 3.

The pre-chorus is upon us quickly, a key change, and then on to a beautiful chorus. I must say that the chorus is what grabbed me on the first listen, and I am still loving its entwined wave of a melody line as I’m listening over and over to review this piece.

“I am not afraid
I know how to be brave
In the best and worst of days
My colours never fade”

It’s well arranged dynamically, the first line suppressed, quieter, and the second, a response, more positive, upbeat, and raised with a lovely lift in the chord progression to the final word of the line. I really like the end of the first chorus, a repeat of the tag phrase, however listen for the trademark Margo stretch on the word “fade”.

Dynamics are something which have been evident on all of Margo’s work to date; basically, she knows how to write a pleasing song. The pattern is established, the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus telling a story, but this second time out, backed with strings, more volume from the piano, and the vocals ever more impassioned. The song tells me a tale of insecurity – the irony of having great success yet  paying homage to the fact that the beauty of life is in the challenge. I think the pre-chorus, so easy to skip by because it is so short, lyrically sums up this struggle:

“So brick by brick,
I lay it thick,
and paint up my face for the world again;
and then I sing ‘I am not afraid'”

The bridge serves a purpose to bring the song to a head, it’s short and interesting, and lets Margo let fly with that higher vocal, “never fade” is desperately happy in the delivery; she drops the dynamic at this point to a lull to focus us on the last chorus lines. I like the effect that this has, it’s a song with a message which she has just summed up in these last two choruses.  It seems intended to be bold, and leaves me as a listener with empathy but no pity:

“Impossible they say,
The odds cannot be played,
But my dreams come true in spades,
when my colours never fade”

Margo has had major success, and has faced challenges in her life; I think it’s a great gift to be able to tell that story lyrically and musically to share with the world. With “Colours”, she has delivered a beautiful piece of music, with a lyrical message which I read as a “grab the world by the throat”, or maybe “gather up all of your insecurities and turn them to your advantage”, or perhaps most striking, “I cannot be beaten”. It’s a different approach to the rock-Margo, or the funk-Margo, or the pop-Margo; but it’s Margo that’s back with a beautiful vengeance, and a direction I’m very glad she’s shared with the world.

You can read more about Margo at her Fish Pond profile here, or at her website here.

One world, one family, one musical heartbeat.

David Mark Smith
Founder, Global Musicians Fish Pond
Singer/Songwriter, My Lucky Fish


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