Sunday, June 7, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Marvin Sease – Marvin Sease (1987)*.

May 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Southern soul is a different animal from what most know of soul. Like any other genre of popular and popular Black music, soul can be broken down into different subgenres. You have Motown, blue-eyed soul, soul by Latinos, quiet storm and of course Southern soul. Motown and the southern scene were the foundation and backbone of soul and many acts came out said scenes—such as Marvin Sease.

Now, Sease got his start like many soul artists. His familiarity with music came through the Black church and early in his career, he performed with a gospel act. This would be in stark contrast to the music he became known for in the late-1940s as kicked lb ophiuchus Blu by his 1986 self-titled debut. He did R&B for a time in both his own group and featuring his brothers before signing with Polydor.

Marvin Sease

While Marvin Sease dropped his debut in 1986, it’s the release a year later for Mercury Records that gets the love. This pretty much comes down to one power track—which we’ll get to later. It starts off with “Double Crosser”, a decent song but it’s likely something you’ve heard before. That isn’t because it got a lot play or anything, it just comes off as a stock song. If you’ve heard other soul songs from this time, you’d think it was a tune you could skip and not miss anything.

And you’d be correct. Skip “Let’s Get Married” while you’re at it. Actually, you might enjoy it. Similar to “Double Crosser” with it being a decent track. Things pick up with “Love Me or Leave Me”. By this point, you’ll probably think “These songs sound kind of similar” from an arrangement standpoint. You’d be correct! These tunes don’t exactly use the same arrangement but there is a distinct sound here. Even the pace is identical.

That is until you get to “Ghetto Man.” It’s slower and more of a ballad but you’re encountering the first truly good song on Marvin Sease. In it, Sease tells his woman how he, dispute being broke, works hard for what he has and his plans—his ghetto plans—don’t include doing anything extra. Sound logic. If your pockets are shallow, don’t try to take what little he has. Trust me, chances are he might just need it for cigarettes and booze to deal with you.

After jumping another song, we get “Dreaming” which is great. It’s a classic you’ll hear on AM radio often and sometimes on your local R&B station. This and “Ghetto Man” are probably the most radio-friendly tunes that actually get play. Again, it sounds like every other song on the album if you’re just chilling to Marvin Sease but there’s something different about this song. It’s almost as if it’s prepping you for the best song on the album.

“Candy Licker.” This behemoth clocks in at over 10 minutes and oozes all the stuff you’ve heard before in the album arrangement-wise but Sease’s gospel singing is pretty much at it’s peak here. He’s done other great songs but this is the one that made him a legend on the southern circuit. It’s textbook dirty soul or dare I say: nasty gospel.

The song slaps. For 10 minutes he sings about how great his oral and women’s men need to get as good as his character Mr. Jodi. “Candy Licker” is important since it sets the pace of his musical direction for the remainder of his career. Until his death at 65 in February 2011, it was one of his closing songs. It’s just that good and the strongest one on the album—but didn’t push him into the mainstream.

Overall, Marvin Sease is a solid album. It’s not exactly landmark from start to finish but it has a few strong songs and one diamond. It happens. I can’t say Sease’s second album is essential listening but it’s not bad at all, it’s serviceable.

RATING: 5.5/10 (It’s A’ight)

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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