Friday, October 11, 2013

"Marvelous Sauce"- Marvelous Sauce

This new self-titled CD from a Canadian group is currently on many college charts around the country, although you have probably heard music similar to this before. Do you remember that "jazzy" streak that hit popular music in the middle to late eighties? Groups like Double, Spandau Ballet, Level 42, and Breathe made it big.

Marvelous Sauce brings back that era with the first song on the album- "Sister Knows What To Do." To get an idea of what this song sounds like, think of Breathe at their weakest. Next is "Animals on Bicycles," which starts out fine, but sinks with poor lyrics. The song seems like an inside joke: "Animals on bicycles...they're likable/Thoroughly respectable in overalls." "The Amended Will" tells an odd story of a man dying of a heart attack. The song sounds like something from The Replacements, complete with bouncy guitar melody. "Medium" is also helped by better music than lyrics. Heck, think of Breathe at their best in a song praising the virtues of anonymity and mediocrity. "Strength and Sobriety" is probably the best cut on the album. It sounds like an early Billy Joel song, with some great piano and vocal arrangements. "Talk About You" has everything but soul and feeling. Unmemorable, to say the least. "Move on Living" also falls into that category. "On My Floor" is better, thanks to a distinguished vocal arrangement, although the lyrics are a mystery. "Underwater"'s melody is everywhere. You will need a map to keep up. "Temporarily Aside" is another strong cut with strong lyrics and a wonderful organ riff.

The group's singer and lyricist, Stephen Barrick, has a nice range, although some of his lyrics seem silly. The rest of the band is very good, with Joe Rozier's piano, organ, and keyboards doing a fantastic job. Unfortunately, Rozier is under a "Special Appearance by..." credit. Strongest cuts on the album: "The Amended Will," "Strength and Sobriety," "Temporarily Aside," and "Medium." My grade for "Marvelous Sauce" - Marvelous Sauce: C+.