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Three is a very common and important number in Amber Mark’s life. In a 2017 interview with NME, she explained how that number has constantly made itself present in her life. “My mother was born in 1953, my brother was born in 1983 and I was born in 1993,” she said. “Then, my mum passed away on June 3, at 10:23 pm in 2013. Since then, I’d see three’s everywhere.” In 2017, she released her 3:33am EP. Nearly five years later, she returns with her debut album, Three Dimensions Deep, and a riveting tale that follows her through a journey of searching for the deeper meaning for her life and the world that surrounds her.
Three Dimensions Deep presents a well-executed blend of R&B and funk used in different ways throughout the album. Sometimes it’s a 50-50 split, and other times, either genre sits in the driver’s seat while the other makes its presence felt just enough so that the 17-track project remains cohesive. This varying production helps to add a second dose of life to the listener’s experience with the album, one already boosted by Mark’s enthralling vocals. Her search for life’s meaning arises on the wistful “What Is It,” where she questions the point of the bad in her life with an emotional plea into the empty skies. “So there goes my heart,” she sings with disheveled spirits on the song. “I fell apart / Trying to love.” She later questions the source of faith as she’ll need it moving forward. “Is it love that proves in our faith? / Or how we move, spiraling?”
As often as Mark questions the ways of the world, she also stays true to what she’s previously learned. Her wisdom propels her far enough to leave her with a moderate and slightly frustrating, but solvable, amount of puzzle-piecing for her to do. She rightfully distrusts the “trifling” ways of men on “Most Men,” while begging for a friend to seek better than the insufficient companion she’s currently with. Mark acknowledges the difficulties behind healing and moving on both “Healing Hurts” and “Bubbles” while overcoming the temptation to fall for old tricks and back into her old pains. Following these anecdotes of hurt and heartbreak, Three Dimensions Deep transitions into a second half that’s both energized by a new wave of happiness and gracefully presented through a worthwhile romance.
Amber Mark won’t find all the answers she’s looking for in life. That’s a feat that goes unaccomplished even by the oldest souls of the world, never mind a 28-year-old. She soon realizes that a life driven by constant searches will leave her feeling incomplete at the end of the day. “FOMO” places this discovery on wax through funky and reinvigorating production that finds Mark high off life as her feet sweep the dancefloor. “Fill up my cup, made up my mind,” she sings. “Won’t miss out on living happily / It’s about time, I’m gon’ lose control.” There’s a time and a place for self-reflection and wallowing in sadness about life’s dealings, but Mark realizes that she should at least make sure to live life through it all.
This leap of faith, which also doubles as a discharge from life’s ankle weights, adds vibrancy and excitement to her life and the album. It also makes her an irresistible magnet to what she craves the most from life. Three Dimensions Deep swings upward from a contextual standpoint during its back half. Mark is consumed by a love that’s far too good to be true in her eyes. She details this behind haunting production that accentuates her disbelief on “Out Of This World” while also comparing the new love to finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. “Pull all this weight kept me out of sight / I close my eyes,” she sings. “And with surprise / I saw the light.” Mark goes above and beyond to describe the beauty of this new romance as she places herself amongst the stars and constellations on “Cosmic” to relay the “otherworldly feelings” it gives her. “It takes me to another planet / It’s all so cinematic,” she sings with a heart bleeding of gratitude as angelic harmonies rain behind her. “Is this some sort of magic? / It seems so automatic.”
Three Dimensions Deep is a testament to letting go and trusting that what is meant to be, will be. While watching Amber Mark get swept off her feet with a perfect love is a heartwarming aspect of the album, seeing her end the album on a high pedestal and free of some of the things that held her down is just as satisfying. Mark’s official debut album is truly Three Dimensions Deep as we watch her confidence grow, her insecurities fade away, and a path open up for her to experience all that’s meant to be in her world. Mark achieves this by letting herself freefall into life’s core where she discovers what to value the most day in and day out. It’s here that she also tackles her most-inner emotions with equal parts grace and feistiness for a riveting and magical album.
Three Dimensions Deep is out now via PMR/EMI. Get it here.