It’s equally impossible and exciting to try to define the sound of the album, “Tiger in a Room” as it slides between multiple genres within a single track. For those who are excited by an artist unafraid to reinvent and experiment, then look no further than Fantastic Mr Marcel. In a time where R&B is leagues away from its origins, Pop is a caricature of itself, and rap’s maturity is regressing, Fantastic Mr Marcel feels like an outsider in an industry that should be pushing him into the mainstream more than his peers. He’s proven himself to be smooth, skilled and versatile, but probably a touch too adventurous.
Not only does he thrive at the style that got him noticed with the mixtape “Stop Calling Me Names” in the first place, but Fantastic Mr Marcel has somehow harnessed the essential elements of his creative and vocal toolkit. He now shakes off the gloss, takes his purified music and inexplicably makes it a whole lot better. He turns gold into diamonds somehow.
A tight 7 tracks, Fantastic Mr Marcel features crisp organic sounding instrumentation that easily locks into place like clockwork. A particular skill of Fantastic Mr Marcel is how seamlessly he mixes his elastic voice with any type of instrumentation behind him, and say ‘behind him’ with calculated purpose, as his voice always dominates the music.
He moves from the acoustic guitar driven opening track “The Villain Interlude”, to the electro beat of “Inside of Me” and back to the shimmering guitar strum of “Tongue out Acoustic”, with an ease that is disarming. His voice resonant, rich and superbly controlled as it scuttles through the scales.
I’m reminded of a blend between the soulful urban edge of the iconic Seal and the sadly missed jazz, pop and R&B vocal legend Al Jarreau. The tunes themselves are, well-crafted, contain distinctive nods to various contemporary styles, and are designed to showcase Fantastic Mr Marcel distinctive brand of interpretative artistry.
By the time the needle hits the expansive drive of “Superior Animals”, it’s clear to any pair of ears that Fantastic Mr Marcel is a stylish vocalist in a world not overly blessed with such creatures. The singer tackles every kind of mood and style with equal skill.
On “Nocturnal Creatures” he switches from mellifluous crooning to conversational spoken verses to rapped bars. “Tiger in a room”, is dedicated to the artist himself. His Chinese zodiac is a tiger, and here he is trying to understand himself and where he fits in, due to his wild and chaotic lifestyle. It’s a fiery, dramatic track with a party feel.
“Tigers and Pink Flamingoes” keeps the energetic momentum going, as it rides on a hip-hop beat featuring skittering trap hi-hats and a rumbling boom. One instantly recognizable quality on this song, are the angles and attitudes Fantastic Mr Marcel expresses through his vocals, as he moves from singing to rapping and back.
“Tiger in a room” is a clear and conscious effort to make a vibrantly captivating record, there are ample instances of Fantastic Mr Marcel flexing his prowess as a multi-faceted artist and dynamic vocalist. It is a commendable attempt at diversifying the shape and appearance of urban music.
There’s no questioning that Fantastic Mr Marcel is capable of making great music, but even more exciting, is that his ambition appears to be matched by the level of his talent.
Website – http://www.fantasticmrmarcel.co.uk
Twitter – @fantasticmrmar2
Facebook – Fantastic mr Marcel music