Audio CD | Enhanced
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Import pressing of their 1998 album that's out of print domestically. V2.
Marc Anthony Thompson is an insightful singer/songwriter who put out a couple of exceptional solo albums during the 1980s. In his Chocolate Genius alter ego, Thompson's dark, stark confessionals are embellished by a crew of talented Manhattan musicians that includes guitarist Marc Ribot, multi-instrumentalist Melvin Gibbs, percussionist Dougie Bowne, and keyboard whiz John Medeski. With a wonderfully expressive voice reminiscent of Bobby Womack, Sly Stone, and even Barry White, Thompson lyrically explores hangovers, his mother's Alzheimer's disease, and, of course, broken hearts. While he reveals a particularly personal perspective, his songs are filled with wisdom, humor, and redemption. Songs such as "Stupid Again" and "Half a Man" beg for compassion while retaining dignity. Tasteful, tormented, and exquisitely tender, Black Music is a bona fide gem. --Mitch MyersSee all Editorial Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
This is really mature music, along the lines of Daniel Lanois' solo work or recent Jane Siberry (check out her "Maria" CD). Contrary to so much of the dross that passes for pop music these days, Chocolate isn't afraid of space, of quiet, of the dramatic dynamic which can make music such a beautiful experience. The melodies are gorgeous, whether they're sophisticated piano tinklings or the simple chunka-chunka of an electric guitar.
This is also great songwriting: the lyrics of "My Mom" move me to tears. The musicianship is really smart, too; each musician plays with restraint and sensitivity, never bombastic. The whole package is proffered with lovely production values, without being over-processed: in the last song, which must have been recorded without any overdubbing, you can even hear the creaks of the guitar and chair as the musicians commit the song to record. It's this realism, this honesty, which makes "Chocolate Genius" so worthwhile.
(Both of those albums are out of print as well).
Thompson returned to recording under the moniker Chocolate Genius with this album "Black Music".Dark,brooding,and moody,
the chances that you will win the lottery and get by lighting on
the same day are higher than any of these songs getting played on the radio.
"My Mom" will get even the most roughest soul teared up as Thompson's voice is so rough yet emotional."Stupid Again" reminds me of his unknown classic "Recover Gracefully" in it's
hopeful yet slighty bitter feel."Half A Man","Safe and Sound",
and "Life" also make an impression.
"Black Music" is a distinguished album that actually makes Chocolate Genius his namesake.
The opening sounds of the jazzy Life croon like the best of his contemporaries. Don't look down is quite an ode to keeping your head up in this hard life we all endure. My Mom is perhaps the most touching song you will ever heard about a parent. Safe and Sound is as rock as anything that Tom Petty could touch. Hangover #9 is drunken madness at its best. "And where are my keys... where are my keys?"-just you wait and listen. The album closes with two wonderful tracks-"it's all good", a mellow jazz piano laced tune, and a hidden bonus track-an acoustic version of Half a Man. Wonderful, just wonderful.
Perhaps the biggest flaw with the cd, is that the packaging and imaging is all wrong. He wants to show how he is nothing like ordinary black music, and many people probably refused to even consider buying it do to the title. it is better to say that this is a black man's music, who might sound "whiter than black" to most...but he is as real as it gets, a musician's musician-who cares if he is black or white or yellow or brown.
Peace and Love,
Zake-check my godmusic review...an even better album than this.