Album Review: Amber Mark — Three Dimensions Deep

By: Grace Koennecke, Columns Editor
[PMR Records, Universal Music Operations; 2022]
Rating: 8/10

Key tracks: “What It Is,” “Most Men,” “Darkside,” “Competition,” “Bliss,” “Event Horizon”

Amber Mark may be a name most have never heard before in the R&B scene, but the singer has been around for the last six years. She’s dropped two EPs: 3:33 AM in 2017 and Conexao 2018. Both works explored grief and love through the melding of R&B, pop, dance and Bossa Nova sounds together to produce a classy, polished repertoire. Now, Mark is ready to prove herself beyond the world of EPs with her debut album Three Dimensions Deep, taking her voice to new levels and diversifying her use of production.

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Three Dimensions Deep starts off with Mark blatantly stating the anxiety that comes with living up to your potential as an artist and the pressure to let go of someone that isn’t good enough for you. “What It Is” sounds like a track straight out of the 1970’s, with a healthy dose of synths and an epic guitar solo that leaves you wanting more at the end. Mark sings about wanting to be free from the stresses of loving someone who requires all her energy, begging for a sign from above to help make a decision for her. To Mark, love is strange and shameful at times, which has led her to confide in a higher power as her last resort. 

As the album progresses, Mark slowly becomes more confident, trying to lighten the mood with “Most Men,” a feminist anthem that is upbeat and assertive in tone. Integrating gospel influences and organs into the track, the singer is essentially warning a friend in this song, begging them to leave the bad relationship they are in. Mark says that there are other men out there that could treat her friend better, even if it doesn’t seem like it. The overall message is that pure and wholesome love is rare, but it does exist. Also, love comes from within and that to find self-love, you must cut the toxic people out of your life.

There are moments when certain songs meld together and Mark’s themes confuse one another, especially with the repetitiveness of integrating these old school 70s aesthetics into the middle of the album, causing none of them to really stand out. Fortunately, “Darkside”  hypnotizes the listener with banging drums and Mark’s raspy vocals. If you close your eyes, you would think you’re ascending into space as the singer promises of dark times getting better. 

Next comes “Competition,” a reminder that in the music industry, it’s not about competing with others for fame or recognition. Instead, artists should be celebrating the accomplishments of their musical peers. Mark is her most confident in this track, instantly putting a smile on your face as she takes an unbothered stance towards how much money and fame she has. Listeners are quickly thrown into “Bliss,” which is sensual and lustful. Mark talks about being in that stage of bliss in a relationship, where everything is sunshine and rainbows. 

The album’s finale is “Event Horizon,” a whimsical, existential ending of Mark’s musical exploration. While this song could easily lull you to sleep, it also keeps you intrigued by its lyrics, especially with lines like “What is the end? / When there is no time.” It’s a perfect showcase of Mark’s harmonizing skills and vocal range, and is overall a beautiful, peaceful track.

Three Dimensions Deep is an impactful and impressive debut for Amber Mark, proving that she is an artist the R&B community should pay more attention to. While there are songs that aren’t amazing representations of her talent and range as an artist, the standouts are what make up for a somewhat hegemonic middle third. In conclusion, the tracklist is Mark’s first stepping stone towards a hopefully lasting and noteworthy career in the future.

Listen here:

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