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Hot Video Alert: Maria Mena - Viktoria

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hot Video Alert: Maria Mena - Viktoria

Maria Mena Viktoria Single

Maria Mena is a Norwegian singer/songwriter who hasn't released any new music in America since 2004 when she debuted her first international album, White Turns Blue preceded by the infectiously adorable pop single "You're The Only One."  I happened to stumble upon a recent post on my favorite Scandinavian pop blog, and saw a post about Mena's most recent Norwegian single, "Viktoria." I hadn't heard the song before, I wasn't even aware that Mena had a recent album out - I just had to do a post for the sake of nostalgia.

"Viktoria" is the title track off of Maria Mena's fifth studio album (and Mena's middle name) and serves as the album's third official single.  A delicate mid-tempo ballad, "Viktoria" is a subtle, understated little singer/songwriter's tune that really showcases Mena's vocal talents.  It would have been easy for Mena to over-sing the entire way through the song, but instead, she chose to exhibit the perfect amount of restraint in the verses, which really allow the big, flourishing chorus to burst in like sunlight breaking through the clouds. Perfection. This song is like a little hidden gem.  The song starts out with just Maria's vocals and a dainty little piano, and ends with a sweeping orchestral arrangement that adds drama to an already beautiful piece of music. This song reminds me of why I fell in love with Mena back in 2004.

Marina Mena Viktoria

White Turns Blue peaked at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and at #102 on the Billboard 200 a week later.  The album spawned Mena's one and only Top 40 hit, with "You're The Only One" which peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Mena performed her hit single on The Late Show with David Letterman on July 20th, 2004 in an effort to promote the record in America.  Signed to Sony Music/Columbia, Mena has released six albums in total, seeing all of them through to the Top 10 on Norway's album chart.  While Mena's mostly been releasing music in her native Norway, she did try the international thing again with her fifth album, 2008's Cause and Effect, releasing "All This Time" as the lead single.  Her most recent album, 2011's Viktoria is her highest charting album to date, peaking at #2 when it was released last September.

I'm not sure why Mena only took that one crack at the American market back in 2004.  If you ask me, #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 is a pretty impressive feat.  Here's hoping she comes back some day and dazzles American audiences yet again. In the meantime, check out sad but sweet video for "Viktoria" below. Download "Viktoria" on U.S. iTunes HERE and check out the rest of her catalog (at least what iTunes has available) HERE.

Check out Maria Mena on the web:

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