Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Marc Broussard - S.O.S.: Save Our Soul

Marc Broussard - S.O.S.: Save Our Soul
Release Date - June 26th, 2007
Label - Vanguard Records

Bob Seger once sang about how great old time rock and roll was. Now, Marc Broussard is here to tell us how great old time R&B was.

Save Our Soul is a collection of covers ranging from Marvin Gaye to The Pointer Sisters to Stevie Wonder. Broussard rolls through these classic tunes with a swagger in his step and a rasp in his voice, giving each song new life.

The album kicks off with the funky groove of Stevie Wonder's "You Met Your Match." Broussard's gravelly voice gives it flair - the only drawback is that he occasionally veers into wailing, becoming a bit too high pitched to enjoy.

The cover of Blood Sweat & Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" features sultry horn and strings sections behind Broussard's meandering words. The sparse instrumentation on this track is surprisingly powerful, making this song a key slow jam on the record. Broussard picks it up again quickly with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "If I Can Build My Whole World Around You." His falsetto melts into the beautiful voice of guest Toby Lightman, who easily steals the show on this track. The song fades out too quickly though - it would have been nice to have been able to hear the entirety of the last verse.

"Come In From The Cold" is the album's lone original track, and sounds like a cross between John Mayer and Jamie Cullum. Broussard again makes use of light strings in the back of the mix, which are a nice accent to this song. Lyrically, Broussard is surprisingly good, if a bit cliche when it comes to love:

throw off all the memories that can bring you down / loving is the only way to heal a heart that love has wronged

"Let The Music Get Down In Your Soul" (Rance Allen) showcases a nice piano part, as well as some well placed harmonization in the background to create a bouncy singalong. Harmonization is also used to good effect in his cover of The Pointer Sisters' "Yes We Can."

While Broussard's voice is no match for any of the great artists he covers on this record, he is still enjoyable to listen to, and he's found ways to give each song a new twist while still maintaining the spirit of the originals. Broussard claims he wants to help people discover the heart and happiness of R&B. Listening to Save Our Soul makes me want to go dig up some old Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye records...I think that means Broussard has accomplished his goal.

Track Listing
01. You Met Your Match (Stevie Wonder)
02. Kissing My Love (Bill Withers)
03. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Blood Sweat And Tears & Donnie Hathaway)
04. If I Could Build My Whole World Around You (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
05. Come In From The Cold
06. Love And Happiness (Al Green)
07. Harry Hippie (Bobby Womack)
08. Let The Music Get Down In Your Soul (Rance Allen)
09. I've Been Loving You Too Long (Otis Redding)
10. Respect Yourself (The Staple Singers)
11. Yes We Can (The Pointer Sisters)
12. Inner City Blues (Marvin Gaye)

For Fans Of: The Temptations, The Isley Brothers, The Four Tops.

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