Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Marcus Collins - Marcus Collins (Album Review)

Before I review the album I’d quickly like to explain my stance on pop music. Pop music is disposable. Sometimes it is great (The Beatles, R.E.M etc.), and other times it is just plain wrong (you can fill in the examples yourself!). However, love it or hate it, it funds the music that I know we all like, music by great artists who do something original or need a couple of albums to really find themselves and become successful enough for the record labels to keep them on. For this reason I personally like to keep an open mind to all music, and hope that anyone reading this can do the same.

So this is the first album released by a 2011 UK X-Factor contestant. Marcus Collins was one of the few male acts that had a genuine chance of winning, but was pipped at the post by the all-girl act with the worst name in history (Little Mix). Marcus has a powerful soul voice, and his most enduring feature was his constant smile. So being the first to release an album gives him the edge on the others...doesn’t it?

The album begins with the first single, a cover of ‘Seven Nation Army’, the White Stripes classic. It’s soulful, it’s modern and it’s an instant foot tapper, just what an album like this needs. The album continues with some classic soul-sounding tracks, but then goes despairingly off the rails, hitting a brick wall of out-and-out mainstream pop (and not the good stuff I was talking about earlier), but thankfully only for ‘Mercy’, surely a single. There are some worthy attempts at Motown and even a nod to the 80’s on the album, while ‘Tightrope’ completes the style cruise of this debut with a soul influenced rap/scat verse, trust me its actually rather good.

Overall there are some choice cuts on the album, but the feeling that this album has been slightly rushed does wash over you when listening for the second time. It’s nice that the album is not quite as obvious as I expected, but I also feel that Collins voice has not been given the best opportunity to shine with this selection. This is a successful attempt at a pop record, but isn’t something I see remaining in the CD player of even the most hardened fan for any length of time.

Other notable releases this week:
Cannibal Corpse – Torture
Chris Brown - Fortune
Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again
MyChildren MyBride - MyChildren MyBride
Ruben Studdard - Letters from Birmingham
will.i.am - #willpower

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