Marc Broussard - Keep Coming Back
Record Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: September 16, 2008
Reviewing an album by one of your favorite artists is never fair. You are stuck between feeling obligated to love it and feeling like you love it, but questioning your true motives afterwards. Such is the case with Marc Broussard's new album, Keep Coming Back. No matter how much I wanted to love it, prior to it being released, my logic was telling me that I had to set mid-shelf expectations for it. I told myself that there would always be the next album or the album after that, so I shouldn’t expect too much from this current one. I had to understand that it had the possibility of being a total disappointment. Being the pessimist that I am, I managed to quell the anxiousness for the album, determined to give it a fair review and a fair critique at any cost.
Part of a fair critique, though, is still understanding where the artist is going and where they came from. Broussard’s first album Momentary Setback, was released in September 2002, on Ripley Records. It’s was a short eight songs, but it had promise. You could sense it. His second release, Carencro, was released in August 2004, on Island Records. If you’ve heard of Marc Broussard, you might not know the name Carencro, but you have certainly heard “Home,” his career jump-start of a song from that album. He then released S.O.S – Save Our Soul, remakes of old Motown songs, in June of 2007, on Vanguard Records. Since then he’s switched record labels again and has released three EPs – Must Be The Water, When It’s Good, and Hard Knocks, on Atlantic Records. The last two EPs contain songs on Keep Coming Back. So with all this happening, it can create an array of emotions about a new full-length album.
But, when the dust settled, and I sifted through all this madness, I realized just how incredible the new album is. It’s the kind of music that you can listen to whenever you want, wherever you are. It’s instantly likeable and instantly memorable. It’s got a heart and soul to it that will make you want to break out the old vinyl records and go on back. From the first song “Keep Coming Back,” to the last song “Going Home,” it’s the kind of album that just makes you feel at ease. There are up-tempo songs and slower ballads, making for a nice mixture of rhythm and blues. It has the maturity you’d expect from someone far older than Marc Broussard, but it possesses the kind of youthfulness that keeps it fun. The entire album is great, each song contributing something to the overall goal of being a classic. My favorite songs are “Keep Coming Back,” “Hard Knocks,” “Power’s in the People,” “Man for Life,” and “Evangeline Rose.”
The instruments are perfect for the record and the band has a cohesiveness that makes the music come together as one. Additionally, it was recorded in analog, which gives it the old, classic feeling. Analog takes it back to before you had producers who cut and spliced and faded. You recorded it all together, in one take. It creates the feeling of listening to live music. It’s the way real music should be made. It’s exposes a rawness to an artist, turning their flaws into endearing traits you come to love and respect.
Every artist has an album that ends up being the cornerstone to their career. I think that what The Stranger was to Billy Joel, Keeping Coming Back will be to Marc Broussard. It’s the first time since he released his debut that I’ve felt as if he had the ability to stay relevant for years to come. He has an amazing, soulful, raspy voice that rivals some of the best in the business, but new music has been few and far between. I think that he’s finally found a home at Atlantic Records, allowing him to make the album that he’s always wanted to make and the album that he should’ve made long ago. For someone so young, he’s been in the business for a long, long time and he’s paid more than his fair share of dues. It was his time to have a great album. It was his time to have this album. He made it for himself and he made it for his fans - his old fans and the fans he’ll surely gain from this record.
Overall, this album provides something for everyone. And for the fans that have waited fervently for the last four years, this album was well worth the wait. It will certainly shoot to the top of your Marc Broussard favorites. As for me, while I think it’s difficult to review albums by artists you truly love, there are rare occasions when it works out in your favor and you fall in love with an album more than you ever thought possible. Well, at least until the next one comes out.
Brother man, you are right on with this one. While the first two paragraphs were a bit long-winded, I understand your point. It's cool of you to review this disc though. Marc just has a quintessential sound to him, one that transcends time and place. I totally agree that "Momentary Setback" just oozed potential, but it didn't quite hit it. You heard glimpses here and there, but "Carencro" really shook the walls. Man what a disc. S.O.S. was good, but I was hoping he'd follow up with something stronger, this one is certainly it.
Coincidentally, I have cousins from Lafayette, LA, which is right next door to Carencro. I've driven by the Broussard home on many an occasion. So glad this got written up on AP.net. This guy is solid gold.
So I was jamming to a Broussard favorite of mine today by chance (his cover of You Met Your Match), and decided I was curious as to how people had reviewed this album. You should be honored to know you are the only review featured on his wikipedia for this album. I couldn't believe it!