With its blend of powerful femme rock and sentimental ballads driven by female vocalist Deena Noroian, the 11-song No Alternative is an extremely well-rounded and finely crafted piece of musical assertiveness
From the first song, “You Did This,” which sets the tone with hard driven riffs, beefy bass, subtle drums, and demure unapologetic lyrics to the very end with “Dogma”, No Alternative coolly switches gears from angry angst to hopeful anthems as each consecutive song lends something different to the album as a whole.
As a taste to what is on the CD “Holding It In” is a powerhouse ballad that feels as if it is to become the calling card for those lonely and silent souls. “Waiting for the End” begins with a mellow piano slowly rising and building, moving the listener through the peaks and valleys of the quickly changing mood of Noroian’s temperate yet quickly changing moods. “Firehouse” is a fun bluegrass bit while “Anything In Me” brings the listener back to the soft sexy side of a girl scorned by a man’s ambivalent love. One of the most impressive songs is her rendition of Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer.” which is simultaneously daring and haunting with just Deena’s vocals and an acoustic guitar, the song taken to a whole new aspiring level.
With lyrics that have something to say as opposed to just saying something, Deena Noroian sings them with a range of emotions, which help drive the music forward. No Alternative should secure its place within any astute listeners collection. The only question that remains is, what will Deena and her band mates bring to the table next.
by David Navarro
Live in Austin TX
I had the opportunity to catch Deena on her first trip through Austin. At this point, I’d already done a CD review, so I was a bit familiar with the songs, and MORE than ready to hear them live!!
Simply put: DEENA ROCKS!!!!!!!! And she’s sexy (and I’m not kidding). She opened her set with “I’m Waiting,” a song about the pain and aggravation of waiting on someone to make up their mind. “My thoughts are confused, can you hear my voice? So I’m waiting to make your dreams come true, I’m waiting for you.” OUCH! Being on that side, waiting for someone to figure out what they want, and if it’s you, can be a nightmare.
Third song into her set, I got to hear my (so-far) favorite Deena tune, “You Did This.” Live, the bass is groovier, deeper, and Deena’s voice just cuts into your bones. The megaphone stressed the point that much more, and the drum lines were delivered with POWER. If nothing else from Deena will win you over, I’m willing to bet that this song will!! Check out her website, and read ALL the lyrics to this one, you won’t regret it.
As a tribute to New York, we got to hear “Holding It In.” Her sensual vocals really make you feel the words… “if you call me right here, right now, and if times are bad, and you’re in doubt, I’ll come running, running to you.” This is an absolutely beautiful song, and I’m looking forward to hearing it live again in the near future (Deena’s coming through Austin again in September!!). Filling harmonics from the lead guitarist, and his full male voice is a great complement to Deena.
“Dogma” came later in her set, and I REALLY like this one live. A much harder edge than on the CD, and I just love the line “I say we pack up our shit and go home.” It’s one HELL of a song… bad ass guitar solos… accompanying vocals from the rhythm guitarist… and Deena’s *amazing* wailing. Gotta love it!!!
Deena closed with “Anything In Me,” and this one’s even more painful live. This song spoke to me when I heard it on the CD, and I found myself teary eyed more than once when I finally got the chance to hear it live. I won’t take away from the full effect of the song by only quoting a lyric or two. Go to her website & read all of it… it’s beautiful.
To simplify it down, Deena Noroian is rock/borderline hard rock with commanding vocals that will make you sit up and pay attention. I’m looking forward to September 28th & 29th!
by – Ali, Austinlive.com
Check out more buzz in Austin, TX… Austinexperience.com
CD review from Austinlive.com
Deena Noroian will be coming through Austin next week. Over three days, she’ll hit Roadhouse, Black Cat Lounge, Steamboat, and Graffiti’s. Pretty impressive list of clubs.
After hearing her CD, No Alternative, it was obvious how she bent the ear of some of my favorite venues.
I get into my car after work yesterday, pop the CD in the player, and hear “you did this” spoken in a pouting girlish voice. Don’t let that fool you, because Deena’s FAR from girlish. If you’re expecting to hear poetic warbling, you won’t get it here. This is a woman with one HELL of a voice, and something to say.
The first track is one of my favorites. “You Did This” tells one angry story of betrayal and its repercussions. Backed by hard edged guitars, and drums to die for… this is WELL DESERVING of radio play on damn near every station I’d listen to. Words that will cut you to the core, and urge you to dig through your address book and tell everyone that’s ever wronged you to listen to it.
“I’m Waiting” is a stripped-down song with just Deena’s voice and an electric guitar. “Anything In Me” also spoke to me. An impassioned, simple plea for attention from someone who just can’t see the special qualities. Track 8 is an acoustic cover of Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer.” I enjoyed hearing a female voice sing that one.
I know I’m looking forward to seeing Deena next weekend. Check her website for full show details, and say hi when you see me.
by Ali, Austinlive.com
Reviews and comments from some fans: (Always the best opinions)
I work out at Golds Gym and they have DMX Satellite music playing there. About 3 months ago I heard this song “One Step Closer” and I stopped my workout and ran to the front desk and asked them who was singing that song. Naturally these muscle heads who run the place are dumber than a box of rocks and they were clueless. So after drilling them excessively and bugging every radio DJ from here to California, noone could tell me. Everyday I checked Kazaa under every name variation I could think of, still no luck. I am a model, and for a magazine shoot I was doing there was a dj present. I begged him to find out about this song!! I was now a girl on a mission- to get this song and play it over and over until I could be sick of it, if that is possible. After bothering this dj to no end, I got nowhere. I called the DMX people and bugged them, and finally- today, someone actually was not brain dead and they knew! Imagine my excitement, when, low and behold, this genius of a phone operator busted out with your name…. Deena! There it was, this whole time- RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE!!! See, my name is Dina too. I must be really easy to please for this just tickled me to death. I then called everyone I knew and let them know of my discovery and noone seemed to care. I just wanted you to know that I absolutely love your song- I will send you a broken Linkin Park CD just to prove it, if need be. You straight up are the absolute shit and I will be wearing your song out now.
Dina – Naples, FL
I gotta tell you… I heard this song on Live 105.3 in San Francisco and they never mentioned who sang it. I have been scouring newsgroups and discussion groups since december and finally found out it was you… A couple guys here at work heard me playing the little blurb on your site and they were all impressed. I have had this song in my head for 5-6 months and finally know its you.
Jeff – Santa Clara, CA
I heard the cover song done by Deena Noroian, (One Step Closer) within minutes I was online looking for the tabs for the song. I would like to say not only is Deena beautiful, but she has the singing voice and talent to back it up. Good luck with your success.
Sir Johnson – Ames, IA
I just wanted to email you because I was listening to a music channel on my digital cable when I heard this really awesome version of One StepCloser. I was about to change the channel but the voice caught my attention and I thought the acoustic was 10 times better than the original. I decided I would try to find out anything I could on you and see when a cd was coming out! I really admire your voice and how you could make a your cover even better than the original. I give you lots of credit for that! I wish you all the luck with your carrer and can’t wait to hear some more from you in the future!
Marci – World Wide Web
I live in San Jose and just heard your song Tuesday morning on 104.9 KCNL, “The new music alternative”. They said they had just received a CD with the song on it from a station in L.A. I was really shocked when I heard it as I am a big Linkin Park fan, and this was totally new. It has a really cool beat to it. My friend, who I e-mailed the song too and is also a Linkin Park fan, really liked it too and says he is going to learn how to play it on his guitar =D. Thank you so much!
Chris – San Jose, CA
It took me about a week .5 to find out who sang this great acoustic version of “One Step Closer”. I hear it constantly on DMX and they have had it sooo mislabeled. First as “Fade” by Staind, then as “Every Little Thing” by ??? I forget now. Anyway – Hope to see you at the “Gorge” soon.
Jeffery – Spokane, WA
I was driving in to work the other morning and the DJ on 104.9 in San Jose said that he had just received a new song on CD. He wasn’t going to tell us who it was or anything first, just going to play it. Well, it played and I was hooked!?By the way, I just bought “Story of a Girl” on cdbaby.com… Can’t wait for your next album this summer. Also, thanks for the personal note. It isn’t often that an artist takes interest in what the fans think… I really appreciate it!
Chris – Reno, NV
Allow me to say that your – Deena’s – voice is absolutely angelic. I heard the cover on 92.3 WXRK in NY and only caught it at the middle and I pulled over to hear it finish. I think more artists should manipulate songs in different styles. Keep up the beautiful music.
Orson – New York, NY
I am just emailing you to tell you I really like your cover of “One Step Closer.” Its beautiful. I haven’t had much access to your other work, so I cant give you any feedback on that… but I was wondering if you ever considered touring south africa?
Meg – South Africa
I heard Deena Noroian’s version of Linkin Park’s One Step Closer on a satellite music station where I work. It is so good!! I had to look so hard on the internet to find out who it was exactly that did the cover. Can I please have a copy? Please oh please oh please??? I just love that song!!!!!
Kerry – Chesapeake, VA
I happened to catch your cover of “One Step Closer” on Q101 one day, but didn’t hear your name and went crazy trying to find out who you were. You have got such a beautiful voice, and you sing that song with such feeling, I was really impressed!
Collen – Chicago, IL
Just heard your arrangement of “One Step Closer” on 89X Radio in Detroit. I really liked it. In fact, I like the song better having heard your version of it.
Bjorn – Detroit, MI
I really love the cover of One Step Closer. I am a big fan of Linkin Park and when I heard that there was an acoustic cover, I had to hear it. I normally don’t like covers but this one is definately the exception.
Farno – Chicago, IL
I was sitting in my truck on the way to to Starbucks to grab me a Chazo Tai when I heard your remake of “One step Closer.” All I kepts saying was, “That’s not Linkin Park, but I like it.” Then, at the end of the song, a girl called and asked the question i’d been thinking of. “Who is that girl singing.” The radio guy, i forget which one, played stupid and just played the song again. Right now, you are current number 5 or 6 on the top 9 at 9 in Chicago, which is where I am from. I may have to go buy your new CD that is out. You voice has a very interesting unique quality. Like a Fiona Apple mixed with a little bit of Varuka Salt. Yet, you still maitain a personality of your own which is truely awesome.
Cheryl – Maywood, IL
Great CD, needs to be listened to more than once to get the full effect. Have seen her numerous times in clubs and opening for Pat Benatar. Even better live!!!!
Kris L – Cal City, CA
Moody, rich, pretty. A beautiful expression of angst, incredibly validating of women’s experiences and a pretty, pretty voice. Great CD can’t wait for the next one.
Bethany M – San Jose, CA
I think your “Story of a Girl” is just amazing. I can’t stop listening to it. It touches me. Thank you!
Brenda W – E Stroudsburg, PA
I’ve seen you perform three times with Pat Benatar!! I really like your work! We bought your cd, which you autographed, and I listen to it quite a lot! There are SO many great songs!! I have my favs! I’d love to see your band again!
Lorrie M – Cal City, CA
I was fortunate enough to have seen you and the band play when I was in Anaheim on a business trip and got tickets to see Pat Benatar. I live in Phoenix and as fate would have it I was very pleasantly surprised when I showed up for Pat’s concert here, to find that you were opening. You guys were awesome the crowd was awesome and I think you could feel the energy in the theatre. I’ve played your CD for many of my friends and I’ve only heard very positive comments.
Joel G – Phoenix, AZ
The reaction you got from the crowd is a testament to your talent. Keep in mind, we as an audience were there to see Pat who in my mind is the greatest female rock and roll vocalist ever. We were not even aware that a band was opening for her. But once you stepped up on stage we thought, “Okay, lets see what you got.” You were quite impressive!
Brian – Phoenix, AZ
I purchased Deena’s CD after seeing her perform live at The Whiskey. Since then it has become one of my favorite cds, I listen to it all the time. My favorite song is Story of a Girl, because she dares to write about what most women won’t even talk about.
Charlie S – Lancaster, CA
Just to let you know that I think that your album is superb and as yet it has not stopped being played on my CD player. I have even got to the point where I am humming your songs during work. A number of friends have commented on the album and I think that you will probably have quite a following here in London.
Joanne H – London, England
My friend and I got the pleasure of seeing you at the Sun Theatre when you opened for Pat Benatar and you and your band totally rocked!! We really enjoyed your unique style of music and the message it carries.
Karen H – Anaheim, CA
I got a chance to catch your act in Phoenix. I must confess I never heard of you before, but you blew me away. You are truly a great singer. I had to buy your album and was lucky enough to have you sign it. Thanks for the great show. I went there to see Pat, but I left knowing that I had seen two remarkable performers.
Russ – Phoenix, AZ
I loved your concert. You guys are really cool. Although I took my girls to the concert I wasn’t expecting them to be with the band instead of us. They have your autographed CD’s and are very proud of them. They also play them from sun up to sun down. It’s the first thing I hear in the morning and the last thing I hear at night. My girls think you are the coolest. I just think you got it together.
Dawn T – Phoenix, AZ
Reviews and comments from CD Baby:
This CD was the first CD I bought from CD baby and it made me keep coming back for more. I was really stunned by the “realness” of her lyrics and purity of her voice. Overall, this is one of the best CDs I’ve ever heard, for a very low price.
Reviewer: Vera Soltis
Voice of an Angel. This CD is one of the best CD’s of our time, and that includes that remake of Linkin Park, which happens to be their number one single. Thus far, I have realized 3 things about the artist because of her CD, 1; She has a much more powerful, and stronger voice than any Britney Spears could ever achieve, 2: her imagination is amazing (lyrics), and her songs are extremely catchy. I love this CD!!
This is the best CD I’ve bought this year! This CD is amazing from start to finish. I love the lyrics and the music rocks!
Deena represents REAL rock for women! This CD rocks hard and kisses softly. The mixture of the lyrics and Deena’s voice will have you pushing replay. Buy this CD you won’t be disapointed.
Can we say Girl Power? The world is in short supply of good female artists. No hit me baby one more time’s or genie’s in bottles here. Just real music.
Sooooooooooooooooooo awesome!!!!!!!!! This album is even better than thier last one, and I absolutely loved their last one! I waited in anticipation for this to come out and I am not one bit dissapointed. This band has such potential. Do yourself a favor and get thier two cds!
More Official Reviewers :
Story Of A Girl
Sexy. Wow. I didn’t really expect an album like this when I opened the package. If you like pop, if you like catchy hooks in your music meat, roll over immediately to the contact info below. K?
See, I thought I was gonna put my ears through more alternative barking, with lots of songs about breaking up, breaking down, breaking dishes. Nope. Here we get hot songs about pimps, little girls trying to get close to daddy, retribution with red bricks. All the good stuff. I love the lyrics to ‘Girl’ – my name is desire / my name is hit me two times more / my name is on fire / my name is walking out that door. But you can call her girl. Smart stuff, and still pleasing to the ears. You don’t have to search for the tunes, they come to you.
Plus, bonus points for having songs NOT WRITTEN BY THE SINGER on the album. How often does that happen?? Like Jewel, Deena puts her whole girly soul into every song. There is intelligence in the words and there is excitement in the feminine performances. God. Just sorry more pictures didn’t come with the packet. She’s cute!
Ben Ohmart – Nzone Magazine
Story Of A Girl
Deena Noroian – The Story of a girl – Deena is powerful young singer with amazing drive, and a real talent for songwriting. Her style varies greatly, showing how diverse her voice can be; She moves from tracks sounding similar to Ani Difranco or Poe or Garbage. She also leans toward a No Doubt or even Traci Bonham feel (although I think Deena’s “Traci Bonham sound” is better than Traci’s…). The musical texture also varies from an intimate piano piece with a lone vocal like the track “Refugee”, to an angry, punky song with funk backbone like “Girl”. The subjects of the songs vary quite a bit, but each is a different view of life as a girl: life, love, music, pain, and abuse. This is a very truthful look at life occasionally harsh and very blunt: this quality helps Deena the most in expressing the importance of strength in a woman’s life. This is a great CD with a variety of styles and feels, I’m sure everyone would like. I eagerly await her follow-up CD.
DC Magnuson – The Indie Zone – Rating ****
Story Of A Girl
This CD sizzles with sex and sensuality. Not your typical rock and roll female vocalist, Deena’s very feminine voice supports an excellent musical backup core. She emotionally interprets her self-penned opener ‘Pimp’. Strikingly effective, Deena weaves her web to capture her inquisitive listening audience on the more mellow ‘Ashley’. She shows her second side and performs a bit of the funk in ‘Girl’ equally as well with a hint of cynicism and sarcasm. A temptress capable of singing sinful songs in many formats, with a special commendation to the musicians in her entourage. Greatest move-to-the-groove tune!!! – One Lonely Shoe. This CD will not disappoint you.
Sandy – Bands on the Run
Deena was fantastic. Her voice is incredible. As for her music and lyrics, they are sophisticated in their simplicity — and that’s such a delicate balance to achieve. A better word to describe her music is “layered.” She creatively gets across so much emotion without being in-your-face obvious. She doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve. Her songs are subtle, cut deep, AND leave room for listener interpretation. Case in point was Deena’s first song, “Anything In Me.” It destroyed me (how embarrassed was I sitting with 5 guys in the back weeping like a little girl!). The way you may interpret that song may be completely different from the way I interpreted the song, but that’s the beautiful thing about her music. She leaves it up to the listener to fill in the blanks.
I’ve got to get my hands on the new album when it’s ready.
Brian Kahn – “The Burbank Bugle”