Friday, March 29, 2019

Album Review: Marvin Gaye - You're The Man

According to the press kit, You're The Man is supposed to be an unreleased album that Marvin Gaye recorded between his two seminal masterpieces What's Going On and Let's Get It On... An intriguing premise: this was supposedly the album that would bridge the socially conscious protest statement of the former and the lascivious, groove-oriented latter, at a time when the man was arguably at his creative peak.

Unfortunately the record is not the masterpiece one could have hoped. In fact, it sounds a bit thrown together, probably because it most likely was. This doesn't sound like an homogenous product but a series of tracks culled from various sessions, which of course is exactly what it is.

There are some killer numbers: Try it, You'll Like It and its funky horns and impassioned vocals. Piece of Clay, a piano-led soul ballad with a fantastic subliminal lead guitar and the funky opener You're The Man which would have fit perfectly on the Trouble Man soundtrack. And overall it's a very pleasant listen, because it's Marvin Gaye in the early seventies when he could do no wrong. It's just not the jaw-dropping artistic achievement one could have expected.

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