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A confusing tribute

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

Vanguard Records: 2007


This review first appeared in Turbula in August 2007.

An undeniably talented singer with a stirring, evocative delivery whose first two releases created a nice buzz, Marc Broussard's approach on his third studio album is a bit of a head-scratcher. One is tempted to ask, "What's the point?"

"S.O.S." plays like a "Soul's Greatest Hits" collection. Al Green's "Love and Happiness." Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long." Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues." The Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself." Only one original song by Broussard among the 11 songs.

His renditions are so loyal to the originals, the horn charts and instrumental backgrounds so steeped in '60s Memphis and Muscle Shoals stylings, that it all starts to feel like shtick after a bit.

For someone just starting out in his career, it was an unusual move – a re-creation of classic soul sounds with little new added to the mix. It's clear Broussard loves this music and is seeking to honor it, but the time to do a tribute is after you've established your own career.