Monday, August 8, 2016

Marcus Lewis-I Like It That Way (1995)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: August 8, 2016

Yes, I really do like it that way—my r&b music, that is. The mid-90's—as I've often said—was the perfect time for all things soul and r&b, and a perfect album to illustrate my assessment is this perfectly pleasant sophomore album by soul singer Marcus Lewis. On a day where I'm sharing things from my personal music collection—and exploring things shared with me from the music collections of others in my circles—I felt it would be a kind gesture to offer up 1995's "I Like It That Way".....and share my complete thoughts about it. Well I have one thought about the opening title track: that's the way that I like to jam! While Marcus is busy telling how he likes his lady's sweet lovin', let the swing beats of the music sweeten your ears! Right away, you know this man is can lay down the slow jams with the best of them when he follows up with "Last Night"; it's the first of several here that sees the singer showing off the pure soul that he's made of. The second one, however, takes you to a mighty dark place in the corner of his mind: "Love Was Here, Now It's Gone" The music to this one even has a suspenseful feel about it, as he's about to give you the lowdown on why he's feeling low. So much brighter is the light at the end of the tunnel that is the third slow jam, "A Place You've Never Seen". Here, his colorful words paint a romantic paradise of a place his lady has never been, but the passion in his soaring voice paints that beautiful picture more than any of his words can say. Then comes the one that I nominate for your next 'Slow Jam Of The Night': "It's So Nice To Make Love". And it's so nice to hear songs like these where the melody sets that evening quiet storm mood. If the title didn't indicate that this one is designed precisely for the bedroom, then his lyrics of 'making love 'til the morning light' expresses that notion even more clearly. It's back into that dark tunnel again on "How Much More?". He's given the lady sunshine to brighten up her day and romance to keep her satisfied; what more could she want? It's these songs that come from deep within the soul that often get to me. But again. there's more light at the end of the dark tunnel when he comes back with the warming song of promise and romantic eternity that is "Never Gonna Let You Go". Speaking of lights and such, a couple of other bright spots that will totally lighten up your music senses is "She's Got It Going On", where he confesses that his lady has got to be sweet, kind and all fine (and I confess that I love the funky, new jack swing kick and the digitized vocals echoing Marcus in the main chorus), and the darling declaration that is "I'll Always Love You" (and I declare my adoration for the upbeat r&b bump to this jam, highlighted by the dazzling keyboard break midway). Then as a good mid-90's soul album should, "I Like The Way" concludes with the most tender of offerings that you will like in every way: "(Love) Is There A Cure For Me". Yes, there is a cure for the lovesick, Marcus.....just as there is a cure to relieve those of you who have been aching to hear some good r&b music to soothe the soul:

1. I Like It That Way
2. Last Night
3. Love Was Here, Now It's Gone
4. A Place You've Never Seen
5. It's So Nice To Make Love
6. She's Got It Going On
7. How Much More
8. Never Gonna Let You Go
9. I'll Always Love You
10. (Love) Is There A Cure For Me

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