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Marsha Ambrosius “Friends & Lovers” Album Review

Marsha Ambrosius

Marsha Ambrosius

Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Marsha Ambrosius has returned with the follow up to her 2011 solo debut album “Late Night Early Mornings.” The London songbird taught us all about the consequences of an early morning after a late night the first time around. This time she serves up the meaning of “Friends & Lovers.”

Regardless if you’re a fan of Marsha or not, you can’t deny her distinctive voice and her ability to make the lyrical content of her songs real and relatable.

“Foul Mouth Marsha” (if you’ve ever seen her live you’ll know why) begins this album in true Marsha form. One thing she has never been afraid to write or sing about is sex. Admittedly following the albums opening interlude she slides into “So Good,” that screams “its time for sex.” The sexual songs don’t stop there either. You have “69” and “Night Time” to add to your sex playlist.

Ambrosius loves to sing about sex, but even more she loves to sing about love. “You & I” sounds like a lost song from the Jackson 5 catalog, but then again we are talking about the woman who wrote Michael Jackson’s hit song “Butterflies.” On the track she wonders if it’s too late to get back with an ex who has clearly moved on.

“Ran into your mother at the station, she showed the wedding invitation, I am praying that it’s not too late for you and I”

Confronted with the truth of on the song “You & I” it sends her running back to sex with “La La La La La,” which contains excerpts from Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin You” and sounds like a modern day sexual version of the tune. The LP makes the ultimate switch with “Stronger.” On her debut album “Late Nights…” she took on a cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Lose Myself” and took the song to another level and left her stamp on it. Too bad this remake of Sade’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” doesn’t do the same. The track features Dr. Dre spitting a verse over a heavy produced beat by Dre himself. The extreme production is a bit drowning and causes the song to lack the vulnerability and emotion of it’s original. If you’re looking for more love songs you have the feel good “Love” and “Cupid (Shot Me Straight Through My Heart.)” The deluxe version of the album contains three additional songs. “Spend All My Time” that features Charlie Wilson and “Streets of London” that many will say is her version of Jayz and Alicia Key’s “Empire State of Mind.”

Friends and Lovers” is a great collection of R&B songs with excellent lyrical content that would stand the test of times. The music of this project creates a clear visual and tells the tale of two who had a friendship based on sex, and later on fell in love. All that happens before one runs away from all the pain that was caused throughout the “relationship.” Songs like “Shoes” where she speaks about a tryst that needs to end and “Run” helps paint a much more clear picture, and leaves the story of two to be continued.

Brian Anthony
I can be your cup of tea or shot of Hennessy!