Love-laced listening of Marsha Ambrosius

By, Nokuthula Vezi


Marsha Ambrosius[1], the former ?Songstress? of British Hip-hop/R&B duo Floetry[2] has delivered an impressive offering of intimate neo-soul,/ Late Nights & Early Mornings [3]/as her solo debut album. Her velvety voice makes the transgression throughout the entire track-list a listening pleasure. The power in her soulful voice makes it no surprise that the week the album debuted; it was number two on the Billboard Charts [4]selling well over 9,600 copies.

The album intro /Anticipation/ sets the tone for the enchanting album. The m??lange of Cello, violins, piano, buoyant beats and the syrupy voice of Ambrosius confirms not only her allegiance to her classic R&B and jazz roots, but also that her offering is about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of love. The proceeding track, With You synchronizes the sensual lyrics and sound effects with a romantic ballad beat. The three minutes of the title song /Late Nights & Early Mornings /further illustrates the peak of her seductive attitude towards love-laced relationships.

The sentimental metamorphosis is revealed with the lead single /Hope She Cheats On You (With a Basketball Player)/. Not only can the talented singer, song-writer and producer deliver quality ballads but she has displayed her ability to write and perform more up-beat radio songs. Having released a remix of the same song with Maino and Fabolous, Ambrosius has evidenced the versatility in her velvet vocals. With lyrics such as /?I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player, Hope that she Kim Kardashian?d her way up?, /an element of playfulness peaks through the seams.

As you continue play with all the songs, the journey of a relationship is explored; The meeting, the honeymoon phase, the betrayal of trust, the aftermath of emotions, the longing for what once was and finally, the inevitable break-up. In the 3.24 duration of /The Break Up Song /one can almost relate completely with Ambrosius as the vulnerability in her voice captivates you and draws you to a moment in time where you?re faced with a task to confront and address your emotions and realise that it?s the penultimate end.

The album, released under J Records [5]see?s heavyweights such as Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys co-writing tracks including Lose Myself.

The sultry songstress adds depth, as she does every song, to the Portishead original /Sour Times /which is track 9 on the revered album. Production credits are also paid to Hip-Hop mastermind Dr. Dre, who approached her after the Floetry fall-out. A spring season song on the album is/ I Want You To Stay /which pays respect to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who Ambrosius had the honour of meeting and working with.

Looking her absolute best, the album solidifies the ambition (and success) Ambrosius has to deliver nothing but excellence with every melody and harmony. Definitely a neo-soul necessity for your CD collection! The album has not only been well-received but has also received many nominations for the 24th Annual SoulTrain Awards 2011 [6]for: Best New Artist, Best Female R&B/Soul Artist and Record of The Year (The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter Award) for Far Away.



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