It isn’t every day that an artist gives the perfect description of his or her music right in the middle of one of the artist’s own songs. Burbank singer-songwriter Maria Cozette is not your everyday artist, though. Cozette sums up “Born Ready,” her debut album, perfectly in “Just Right,” the second track of the disc: “If you want that feel-good pop, well here it is.”
Armenian American Cozette has been performing since 5, and her experience shows. “Born Ready” boasts tracks featuring a soulful blend of Top 40 pop, R&B and European-influenced dance beats. It is rare that a debut album is put together so completely — and defines an artist so clearly — as this one.
The party gets started right away with the first song. With a smooth groove and techno-influenced sound, “Electronic Love” gets listeners ready to have fun. The second track, “Just Right,” continues to deliver with a heavy beat and catchy chorus, and could easily be a hit in clubs across the country.
Things slow down a bit on the next track. A mellow R&B tune, especially when compared with the first two songs, “Magic” brings out Cozette’s versatility. Here she shows off not only her stunning vocals, but also her talented songwriting abilities. The surprises continue with “Wait Til Tomorrow,” a song that sounds as though it were inspired as much by tribal dances as by the likes of Usher and the Pussycat Dolls.
The rest of the album continues to shake things up, with pleasant surprises around every corner, but maintains a steady dance beat and pop sensibility. Nowhere is this more perfectly displayed than on track five, “Outta My System,” which should maybe have instead been titled “(Can’t Get This Song) Outta My Head.” Featuring stellar support from hip-hop artist One 2, this is the CD’s best track, and the one that seems like it would be most comfortable on today’s hit radio stations. One 2’s rap portion is lucid and intelligent, a perfect complement to Cozette’s catchy lyrics.
Halfway through the disc, where most albums might begin to taper off, “Born Ready” keeps firing on all cylinders. Track six is an Armenian-language dance hit called “Yerani,” and features fellow Armenian Mer Hovo. Track seven, “If I Go,” featuring the vocals of soulful Jeremy Gregory, slows down the tempo once again, reminding the listener of Cozette’s R&B side.
Track eight, “Forget About It,” ironically might be the one song on the album that listeners might want to forget, but Cozette more than makes up for it with the follow-up. “Sunrise” is another dance track that’s sure to become a club staple. DJs around the world are going to have a blast remixing this one again and again.
The album concludes with the title track, “Born Ready,” a soulful ballad that starts off with just Cozette and a piano, but steadily builds into much more. It is a fantastic way to end a fantastic debut album.
Who: Burbank singer-songwriter Maria Cozette
What: “Born Ready,” her debut album
Where: Available online through iTunes, Amazon.com, and other music venues
How Much: $8.99 to $9.90 for the album; or 99 cents per song