But We Didn’t Ask to Be Saved
Every once in a while, a covers album comes along that not only sheds new light on a specific artist, but changes our perception of an entire genre. Marc Broussardâ€šÃ„Ã´s newest release, S.O.S: Save Our Soul, is not one of those records. Whereas other cover-happy artists like Cat Power seek to reinvent the songs they undertake, Broussard sounds content to merely recreate them. He fails to offer anything revelatory, insightful, or new in the finished product.In case the title wasnâ€šÃ„Ã´t obvious enough, S.O.S. is a collection of soul covers. To Broussardâ€šÃ„Ã´s credit, he rarely goes for obvious song choices, opting instead to mine the myriad catalogues at his disposal to unearth deep cuts from Stevie Wonder (â€šÃ„ÃºYouâ€šÃ„Ã´ve Met Your Matchâ€šÃ„Ã¹), Al Green (â€šÃ„ÃºLove and Happinessâ€šÃ„Ã¹), and Bobby Womack (â€šÃ„ÃºHarry Hippieâ€šÃ„Ã¹) among others. He even does a decent job at mimicking standards like Marvin Gayeâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„ÃºInner City Bluesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and the Staple Singersâ€šÃ„Ã´ strut-worthy â€šÃ„ÃºYes We Can, Can.â€šÃ„Ã¹
ame Thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s nothing inherently wrong with what Broussard does: He performs competently with the appropriate confidence for these numbers. However, for what little he adds to the equation, you could just as easily pop in the originals and be at least equally if not exponentially more satisfied. Even more damning evidence for this argument comes in the form of â€šÃ„ÃºCome in From the Cold,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Broussardâ€šÃ„Ã´s sole original song on the album, and tellingly, its weakest. In fact, with its utterly predictable instrumental breaks and progressions, it barely qualifies for filler on an Otis Redding b-side album.
ame Bottom line: Marc Broussard needs to worry less about saving our souls and more about finding his own.