Album Review: Marsha Ambrosius: Late Nights & Early Mornings

You got me chasing clouds, gotta let the rain fall down…

Marsha Ambrosius has been quite the busy lady lately. Since Floetry split, we’ve watched her evolution. With the success of the Nina Simone tribute on BET‘s Black Girls Rock, she splashed onto soul’s radar. Marsha 2.0 is a svelte version of the original, with a voice powered even more with confidence. And it’s without question she’s done a lot of loving. She even dropped a few Sex Tapes… A four volume series of mixtapes to build the anticipation for her debut solo album. On the sultry Late Nights & Early Mornings, we find Marsha in full bloom.

The quivery texture of Marsha’s voice and the vulnerability of her lyrics makes Late Nights & Early Mornings a sensual experience. She sets the scene on “With You,” with her lyrics alone: “Can’t even the hold the pen straight, such anticipation.” And she’s not talking Sudoku. She gets Prince-style sexy on “Your Hands,” as her voice shivers.

Although deliciously sensual, Late Nights and Early Mornings is not all baby making music. In the ultimate kiss-off, Marsha wishes a former lover well on “I Hope She Cheats (With A Basketball Player).” She mourns love’s loss on the hit “Far Away,” which featured love torn apart by suicide in the buzzed about video. Perhaps the most vulnerable track on the entire album is the self-reflective “Lose Myself.” She turns the lens inward, invoking such emotion that even while writing this review, I would get stuck because it would take me to another place. Powerful words: “Confrontation of my fears and anxiety/Cried a whole lot of years I suffered quietly/ And though it may have taken years I can finally/ Tell you that you were always on my mind.” Whether Marsha’s speaking to a lover or herself is open to interpretation, but the emotion is one in which everyone can easily relate. As a songwriter she paints scenes from our own lives, and we can revisit a new chapter with every track.

As Late Nights and Early Mornings closes, the dreamlike “Chasing Clouds” creates a hazy daze of longing for a lover’s return. In addition to that amazing voice, it’s Marsha’s songwriting that makes Late Nights and Early Mornings so stellar. She closes the album with “Butterflies,” a track she penned for the late King of Pop. In a seamless nod to Michael, her voice flutters beautifully over “I Want You To Stay,” with a “Human Nature” riff.

Needless to say, Late Nights and Early Mornings is a phenomenal debut from a phenomenal artist. Just like Luther Vandross and love’s greatest storytellers, Marsha makes listeners fall in love with love. If you’ve ever longing for a lover and the buttery smooth feeling of having them in your arms, or lay in that same bed with a broken heart, Marsha conveys the emotion.

In a way that only she can, Marsha makes us feel the chills, stings, and ecstasy of love. She’ll be responsible for many babies later this year.

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4 responses to “Album Review: Marsha Ambrosius: Late Nights & Early Mornings

  1. have you heard Lauryn’s version of “Lose Myself?” It’s just as pretty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O39lpRe2wLM

  2. Lauryn has a version too? Oh man, I have to check it out. I love that song.

  3. yeah it was Lauryn’s song first on the Surf’s Up soundtrack. I believe Lauryn wrote it herself as well.

  4. I’m in love with this album. Don’t come to my house with this playing unless you plan on naming a kid after me in 40 weeks. Word up.

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