Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Ambrosius said that the overall vibe of the album is "sensual, it’s sincere, it’s seductive" and I think that is a very solid description. Her voice and vocal tone alone deliver a sensual vibe and you will hear that immediately with the intro song “Anticipation” and the first words you will hear ooze from her beautiful songstress voice “come keep me warm tonight”. I’ve been anticipating the song “With You’ since I heard that Alicia Keys co-wrote the song. I have to find synonyms for sexy because that is the one word that best describes the majority of the album and “With You” is definitely sexy. Marsha does a terrific job of really banging out the breakdowns to drive the sensual tone even deeper.

The title song “Late Nights and Early Mornings” slides in softly with a piano and Ambrosius crooning her seductive lead into the full body of the track with the words “Let me do you all night long” and builds the erotic temperature from there – yeah, this album is sexy like that. As the song builds it reminds me of a classic Prince song, especially the familiar snare pattern from Prince’s “When Doves Cry” (but screwed WAY down). “Hope She Cheats On You (With a Basketball Player)” came out as the lead single back in August of 2010 so no description is necessary. If you haven’t heard it then you must be living under a rock or sleeping in a tent on some far away beach Ricky Williams style. “Far Away” is produced by super-producer Just Blaze and judging by the more than 7 minute song length; Marsha got every bit out of Just Blaze she possibly could. The song is nice, but realistically it is just way too long. An interesting slice of the song kicks in at the 5 minute mark though, with Just Blaze taking his shot at a Roger Troutman impersonation with the talk box.

Finally we get to the much talked about Lauryn Hill written “Lose Myself”. I can imagine Lauryn Hill singing it, but Ambrosius does not disappoint. “Lose Myself” is definitely one of the many highlights of the album. “Your Hands” jumps in with a big kick but still somehow lays back to allow Marsha to lay her emotions all over the track. The production is great in that it doesn’t force the song to speed up or build, but instead lays back in it’s simplicity to provide Marsha with a canvas to paint with her beautiful voice and sensual wordplay. To give you an idea of the genius behind the production, there is not one single snare hit in the entire song.

“I Want You To Stay” picks up the tempo with a more feel-good vibe. If you have a mature woman with some throwback in her soul, grab her hand and swing out with this one. “Sour Times” sounds like it belongs in a Mission Impossible movie and that could be because I recognized the sample immediately as the Lalo Schifrin “Danube Incident”. Yes, I dig in the crates and the sample did not slip by me. Google “Lalo Schifrin Danube Incident” then hit play on Marsha Ambrosius “Sour Times”. I’ll wait…..

“Tears” is another song you will recognize immediately if you have ever seen the classic movie “Car Wash” and heard the classic “I’m Goin Down”. Maybe that’s too far back for you, so how about Mary J Blige’s “I’m Going Down” rendition. I know the track listing says “Tears” was produced Focus, but credit has to be given to the pioneers that created the original flavor. By now this is bothering me with the obvious Prince rip, then the Lalo Schifrin rip, then the Rose Royce/Tamera Mowry rip. Let me move on…

“Chasing Clouds” is nice, but the awkward drum pattern made it feel too busy. “The Break Up Song” is phenomenal. I don’t know how else to describe it. Beautiful, painful, soulful…whatever adjective you want to insert it all boils down to phenomenal. The album closes out with the remake of the classic Floetry “Butterflies”.

Overall this is a nice album and worthy of the hype surrounding it’s release, BUT Marsha Ambrosius needs to give credit where credit is due to the artist she ripped to create ‘her’ album. Anyone involved in music production knows Prince is impossible to get samples cleared so I’m interested to see what happens when Prince hears his drum patterns and snare patterns straight sampled in the title track “Late Nights and Early Mornings”. This is a story yet to unfold; I am sure of that.

01. Anticipation (Intro) (Produced By Marsha Ambrosius)
02. With You (Produced By Marsha Ambrosius)
03. Late Nights And Early Mornings (Produced By Richard Harris)
04. Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player) (Produced By M. Ambrosius)
05. Far Away (Produced By Just Blaze)
06. Lose Myself (Produced By Canei Finch)
07. Your Hands (Produced By Andre Harris And Vidal Davis)
08. I Want You To Stay (Produced By Marsha Ambrosius)
09. Sour Times (Produced By Marsha Ambrosius)
10. Tears (Produced By Focus)
11. Chasing Clouds (Produced By Syience)
12. The Break Up Song (Produced By Marsha Ambrosius)
13. Butterflies (Produced By Marsha Ambrosius And Canei Finch)

If you go to she gives a brief description of each song from the album and does acknowldge the Lalo Schifrin rip and the Rose Royce rip, but no mention of the Prince sample. I am itching to hear the back story on how she managed to get these samples cleared.

No comments:

Post a Comment