Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Indie Music: Aries Marquis, "Experience"

by Germar Derron

Some people may couch Experience as "urban" pop. But it's more accurately described as a journey through four decades of traditional rhythm and blues. The entire project feels old school, once you come to terms with 1987 to 2010 being old school. But it doesn't sound dated or dusty. It sounds updated and eclectic.  

Throughout the album, Aries Marquis croons and coos silky smooth and soulful. And on this chrono-journey through all of modern R&B Marquis teases notes of MJ, Donell Jones, Usher, Ginuwine, and even Miguel. One of the facets that forces the nostalgic flavor is content.

The vocals here are often sugary sweet, and so are much of the lyrics. In contrast to modern commercial R&B, Marquis's songs lyrically and sonically evoke hope, earnestness, daydreams . . . love. Anyone needing a break from bottles, pills, hoes, and G-wagons needs to look no further.

The album's most universal and timelessly appealing track is "A Part of Me." It's the classic hit songwriter-meet-hit singer huge R&B ballad. Think "I Believe I Can Fly," "You Are Not Alone," or any of those Diane Warren penned hits. It's similar to the Warren-written Ginuwine hit "Superhuman," but it's better.

As I listened to "Ghost," I had one thought: "he's experienced." And that thought may have led to a better understanding of the title and the project. If that connection is purposeful and not imagined, on Experience Marquis artfully combines a lifetime of studies, performance, and love. If this journey was not planned, it was definitely experienced.

Literally, it's Aries season. 


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