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Marcus Singletary – “Smokin'” Review

Marcus Singletary’s album “Smokin'” was recommended to me as something to look at for my love of harking back to T-Rex era rock riffs. Marcus simply has it down to a T. “Smokin'” has an overproduced sound with massive drums, all the insutrments pushed to the fore and a lot of dueling vocal layers to rock out to.

A great example is the Bolan-esque “Can It Be Real” with epic stadium guitar hooks and plenty of organs freaking out. It sounds like it’s coming from a tech-noir rock club and its fantastic. “Drop of a Hat” shows a more funky edge with a bit of brass thrown in and jazzy organs flying around. It’s a very dynamic sound that flips through your ears, one that you’ll struggle to stay still to. “Farmer” is a lighter track which veers towards Blur territory with a “he’s a farmer” as the chorus. It also reminds me strangely of scooby-doo with its comical b-movie bridge. It’s a real mix up of different odds and ends that remarkably works perfectly together. “Get the Dance Gene” has some sublime guitar work in it as it effortlessly slides from chord to chord as you boogie to the beat. The uptempo jazz funk rock hybrid from 1970 sound is at its peachy peak in this awesome track.

“Meditate” shifts to a sitar and woodwind sample with what sounds like the best stylophone-esque sample I’ve heard used in a stadium rock song in years. It starts off funky and builds into a big finale you’ll be singing along to quite happily. “Misty Morning” too is anthemic. It reminds me of Cornershop and a bit of Madness thrown in but with more grit and dirt. There’s some excellent saxophone playing throughout the track too. “Psychedelic People” is more laid back and organ based with some fun flute flourishes as if it emphasis the flower power fun. “You Could Be Lucky” is a great track also as it sums everything up nicely by adding a bit of everything from the above and ties it in a fantastic four and a half-minute package.

Marcus Singletary has crafted a great album that has a distinctive sound, a heart and soul to smile for with a beat to boogie to – all while being a complete throwback love song to 70’s rock. It’s unashamedly upbeat and embracing while it rings every drop of sweat from your panting face as you try to keep up. Great fun.

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