S.O.S.: Save Our Soul
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2007, Volume 14, #8
Written by John Metzger
Thu August 30, 2007, 06:00 AM CDT
Marc Broussard is blessed with a deep and powerful voice. While he typically has created a sturdy body of work, however, he also has failed to move beyond his influences. On his latest project S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, he didnít even bother to try. Tellingly, the set also is his finest outing to date, though this has more to do with the material that he selected to tackle as well as with how precisely he emulated his heroes than it does with his artistic vision.
Composed almost entirely of cover songs that were plucked from R&Bís golden days, S.O.S.: Save Our Soul is, in effect, a love letter to the past. In delivering tunes from Bill Withers (Kissing My Love), Stevie Wonder (You Met Your Match), Al Green (Love and Happiness), Rance Allen (Let the Music Get Down in Your Soul), and Marvin Gaye (Inner City Blues), Broussard succeeds in keeping pace with the sources of his inspiration, and his lone new composition Come in from the Cold fits snugly alongside his retrospective ruminations. On each track, he bends and twists each lyrical line in sublime fashion while his crack backing band establishes the mood with a series of picture-perfect accompaniments.
The problem with S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, therefore, isnít the performances; itís the underlying premise. As impeccably as its songs are rendered, the collection amounts to nothing more than a dose of well-executed karaoke. Rather than breathing new life into these tunes, Broussard preserves them in his own natural history museum. Consequently, anyone who isnít familiar with these classic compositions likely will consider S.O.S: Save Our Soul to be stuffed to the brim with treasure, but anyone who intimately knows the material merely will be persuaded to dig through their record collection to rediscover the real thing. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box