Marvelous Clouds is his most personal and authentic effort to date, showcasing his oft-overlooked abilities as a vocalist. As his fans can attest, however, there s always more than meets the ear with him.. Ironically, he manages to articulate himself more honestly than ever on a record of songs by someone else.
The record is Freeman's interpretation of 13 songs by Rod McKuen. To many younger people today, that name means nothing. But throughout the `50s and `60s, he was one of the biggest celebrities in the world.
His books of poetry sold millions of copies. He won a Grammy and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and two Academy Awards. He has been covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Madonna to Johnny Cash. Since the `70s, however, McKuen has retreated into seclusion, leaving a generation widely unaware of his work.
Now, his music is being introduced to a new generation, from the most unlikely of sources. These thirteen songs deal with struggles that Freeman deftly brings out in his performance, including love, self-identity, and societal integration. Many of the songs appear happy at first listen, hiding dark themes behind a lyrical veil. Producer Ben Vaughn masterfully found a way to emphasize this, providing a bright compelling sound just transparent enough to show the listener that there's something menacing behind it.