Marcel Smith – From My Soul (ENG review)

Little Village – available
Blues, Jazz, Pop, Soul
Marcel Smith – From My Soul (ENG review)

On the cover, Marcel Smith appears as a jovial man, probably to the extent that it leaves iTunes scratching its head as it categorizes him in various genres (Soul, Blues, Pop, R&B, Oldies, Gospel, Rock, Funk). This is the first time I’ve seen iTunes so indecisive about categorizing an album. It must be said that, like your humble narrator, Marcel Smith seems to have swallowed a Muppets – an eclectic album that is often amusing and surprising, with an intriguing voice. “From My Soul” features five songs co-written by Smith and a handful of others that he makes his own from the start, including songs by artists like Jimmy Liggins, Willie Nelson, and the Bee Gees.
I can tell you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. In truth, Marcel Smith loves music; it transports him, he adapts and adopts it according to criteria that are entirely personal and indecipherable. No matter how much one may have studied psychology, when faced with such an album, one is left in a state of wonder. Because in the face of the obvious pleasure that this artist has in interpreting all these tracks, one no longer feels the need to analyze. You just take it in, listen, and savor it. After all, art is sometimes about that too, and we tend to forget it. “From My Soul” also encompasses a wide range of musical styles. Listen to the flavors of Aaron Neville, Sam Cooke, Ben E. King, O.V. Wright, and Tyrone Davis.
Just as in jazz, there are a few artists in and around the blues, like Marcel Smith, who are the conveyors of a history and a skill. I think that’s the way to approach this album because there’s nothing ridiculous or superficial about what makes up this work. It’s simply the artist’s passionate pursuit of what he loves. Definitely not for purists, but for those who enjoy daydreaming and taking pleasure in listening to a well-crafted album with a good dose of humor, you’ll certainly make “From My Soul” one of your favorites, just like the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move.
As always, for these hidden treasures, I must thank my friend Gilbert Guyonnet (ABS magazine/Radio Clapas, known to all blues enthusiasts through his show “Just a Little Blues” -here). He’s a guy I enjoy talking to for hours about everything and nothing, simply for the pleasure of it, just like this album “From My Soul.”

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, November 8th 2023


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