Marlon Williams – Make Way For Love
Marlon Williams’ voice is strong, smooth and beautiful enough that he could sing anything and stop an entire room in its tracks.
But his second album Make Way For Love suggests that that’s not enough. He needs to bleed all over these songs. And that makes for a much more intimate and powerful listening experience.
This album is clearly a break up record. And any fans of Williams will know precisely the relationship he’s speaking of, that with ex-partner Aldous Harding.
Harding appears on the album’s best track, ‘Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore’, a light-sounding but fairly intense, some might say cynical, look at love, with a little French pop influence in the middle-eight.
It all feels quite brave until the final, heartbreaking verse, when Williams proffers a stark reality about life apart from someone you once loved.
‘What am I going to do when you're in trouble and you don't call out for me?
What am I going to do when I can see that you've been crying and you don't want no help from me?’
Besides that track, there are no real highlights on Make Way For Love, as there’s value to every piece.
Musically, this is a record you need to buy for that person in your life who thinks that the quality of music has been on a steady decline since the British Invasion.
‘What’s Chasing You’ was inspired by Motown soul, but comes out more like a 50s rocker. ‘Party Boy’ brings a little 60s surf rock to the table. ‘Love’s A Terrible Thing’ is a tortured piano ballad that will make you reach for the closest bottle. The dark country of ‘I Didn’t Make A Plan’ is scary, because you know the darkness is real, and you can probably relate to it.
On the whole, it’s a far more coherent batch of songs than appeared on Williams’ (very good) debut. He’s no longer showing his versatility, he’s expunging some emotional turmoil through his art, and there’s a much great power to that.
Asked whether the devastating break up has ruined his perspective on love, Williams is more upbeat than you might expect.
“I’ve thrown away some sort of idealism I used to have,” he said. “But I don’t feel cynical about it. Sensible, maybe.”