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

(Vanguard Records 2007)Marc Broussard - S.O.S: Save Our Soul

If Stevie Wonder was dead then he'd be flailing about in his grave thanks to this thoroughly bizarre record. Covering your favorite artists is all fine and dandy, but doing them in a karaoke style is tantamount to career suicide.

There is no doubting Broussard's vocal talents, he could easily be mistaken for an American Idol finalist who just narrowly missed winning to a slightly prettier lad with pecks. Furthermore, it's not hard to imagine Broussard up on stage stood next to a freshly polished Smokey Robinson, whose pearly white teeth nearly blind the audience into believing that their duet was "excellent."

By track four any chance of the album being redeemed by a storming middle section has vanished, Broussard's rendition of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You" (featuring Toby Lightman as the Terrell to Broussard's Gaye) is a perfectly nice coffee table cover version of the original, but then isn't "nice" such a simply horrible word.

To release a whole album of what are, effectively, karaoke songs seems a strange decision so early into Broussard's career, financially speaking it's not a great move by any stretch of the imagination, especially with the cost of royalties he'll have to fork out to some of the greats (including the likes of Otis Redding as well as the aforementioned Gaye and Wonder).

"S.O.S Save Our Souls" will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the American Idol, Motown classics and unimaginative musical tributes. For everyone else it's probably best avoided.

C-

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