The more we get to hear Mark Klaver, the more we wonder if he’s not a ghost singer for some of the top acts we hear on the radio. There’s NOTHING we could pick apart in his songs! Mark Klaver is such a phenomenal performer that doing a write up on his music feels like shooting fish in a barrel. His latest release, Heart On My Sleeve, is lyrically floating in an impenetrable beyond of depicting those romantic souls that struggle in their extreme honesty with the rest of the world. The emotional value is matched by Mark’s unparalleled soul voice with dark tonalities. And last but not least, the amalgam of breathtaking voice and beautiful lyrics is held together by the suave instrumental that flaunts first-rate music production.
The slightly nasal quality of Mark Klaver’s voice makes for a most unique trait. Think of Halsey. Now Halsey and Mark Klaver are two sides of the same coin. “It hurts to wear my heart on my sleeve/ But I don’t know how to be anyone else/ It hurts to feel the sand on my toes when/ I don’t know where to go when/ I’m stranded and I need help” So apparently Mark has this superhuman power to make even the saddest lyrics seem the more beautiful with that soul-mixed-with-pop voice. The ardent atmosphere picks up the further in we dive: “How come I lose my way?/ I thought I’d be safe if I just stand in line/ I guess I never knew my place/ I thought that I did but now it don’t feel right” The pre-chorus is a timid buildup but it sneakily bestows the first earworm elements of Heart On My Sleeve. The melodic setup accurately reflects the narrative, having an inquisitive, higher-pitch connotation right before asking the question and a lower pitch, as if in response, attached to the subsequent lines. Mark Klaver is not only an outstanding singer but a fantastic songwriter as well.
The chorus is unquestionably the IT factor of Heart On My Sleeve. It sticks, it slaps, it hurts, it heals, it works. The ridiculously appealing sonic base grants the listener a most intimate performance while opening up to the darkest, most personal thoughts one could have in moments of despair: “Now here I am all caught up in the middle of it/ Just tryna be good but it’s so damn hard/ Sometimes I wonder how I got this far” The chorus is de facto split in two sections, both lyrically and vocally, with the second emphasizing the confusion state, “Now here I stand just tryna make sense of the center of it/ I wish that I could but it’s so damn hard/ Sometimes I wonder how I got this far.” As usual, Mark Klaver brilliantly portrays the words with his vocal delivery culminating in nearly a cry of desperation set on music.
The second verse presents a subtly more intricate vocal layering that enhances the auditory experience for the audience thus not allowing the record to become boring or uninteresting. “It hurts me when I fall on my face/ ‘Cause I hate when I taste defeat/ It hurts me when there’s nobody home and I’m feeling alone/ I need a minute to breathe” The lyrics do a wonderful job of seeming in-depth but staying general in their approach as to enable any and every listener to relate.
After a gorgeous bridge that offers some hope (“I know things will change but not overnight/ It just hurts right now”), Heart On My Sleeve comes to a smooth end with Mark Klaver’s light hums and runs in the background. This is a record of fierce artistry that sublimely underscores Mark Klaver’s singing and songwriting qualities. A song to come back to for the days you need a heartfelt reminder of not being alone in your mental isolation.
Song Credits: Mark Klaver – Composer, Author, Performer; Devin Belanger – Producer
Review by Mariana Berdianu
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