Friday, 4 December 2009

Marcell and The Truth - Symbols - 2009

Marcell and The Truth are one of a number of artists who are doing a grand job of making sure that 2009 goes out, musically, with a big bang and not a whimper. Fully rooted in real soul, but with a major foothold on today's organic scene, "Symbols" boasts a playlist that is both strong, confident and flows very easily without becoming boring or too routine on the ear. I like the way that Marcel uses melody and to me he has studied the richer, more sensitive methods employed by the likes of the 70s Giants, such as Gene Page, Tom Brock, Barry White and even Leroy Hutson. The beats are metered and paced well, there is definite progression and structure to each track and has what Lamont Dozier said to be 'direction' - a start, a middle and an end. This is a very rare thing nowadays. Most artists have a bassline, a few keys and that is about it. No so Marcell. Check out track 23, "You Saved Me", a track that delicately employs some superb chord changes and guitar lines that Barry White would appreciate if he were to be here today. Some may find this non-urban or rap approach old or uninteresting. I challenge those who do to take a fresh ear to these urban knocks and see what actually comprises said tunes. I think you'll find Marcell and his like winning each and every time.

To start with, "Can't Wait" serves as a gorgeously floating appetiser. Slap bass and a real live sound that is both 2009 and 1979 all in one felt swoop. Vocally, I liken this gentleman to one in the league of the great, real, traditional singers. He has the essence that also embodies Ali Ollie Wilson, but without the raw, gritty rough edge. It's THAT streak of greatness that runs through like a strata in great performers. Seventies music aficionados would so appreciate "Just To Be Loved" - a kind of mid - late '70s love jam complete with wah-wah guitars and rattling rhythms. Imagine a hot day and the Fantasy label spinning around. The title cut also whisks us back to better musical days, and what excites me is that amongst all the RnB TRASH engulfing us today, there are younger artists like this ignoring the machismo and the trends and are simply out to make hones-to-God great soul music. Look no further than the socially conscious "All I Know" which would be loved by the more soulful sounds of, say, Dwele. For radio, "It's Kinda Like" should really, really take off. You will LOVE this song and be grateful of artists such as Marcell. Lovers of uptempo material should plumb for the great "Lost In The Moment" with a rumbling, eager bassline and plenty of real percussion. With an additional stepper's groove atop I can see this tune being MASSIVE. Soul Togetherness 2010 anyone? Folks, this is a great album and on that note I cannot recommend it enough.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe