Marc Anthony Thompson must be the embodiment of all underrated songwriters on his very own. The fact this guy has stayed virtually unknown from the mainstream for the whole 26 years of his career is both a scandalous injustice and a gift for those empassioned enough to have followed him through his somewhat erratic but rewarding recording history.
"Swansongs" is his sixth album proper, the fourth under the Chocolate Genius alias, whose first release as such, 1998's "Black Music" was the closest the man got to stardom. And yet, even then, he couldn't be categorised to one single genre. Being championed by spot-on fans such as Lou Reed, Meshell Ndegeocello or Bruce Springsteen, who enrolled him in his Seeger Sessions Band in 2006, didn't even help make him the great crossover artist he so blatantly deserves to be.
But hell does he care ? His music pours soul, pop, jazz, rock and heartbreaking poetry by every bit, and this new release, his most intimate sounding yet, is no exception. His warm and seductive voice is this time the blatant centerpiece of proceedings, yet such delicate sonic invention is no letdown either, with "Like A Nurse", "Kiss Me" or "Polanski" being obvious highlights, but on second thought you might as well quote all eleven selections here. Those elegiac 34 minutes are to hold and cherish like your everyday milk and butter, believe me. If you've never heard Marc Anthony Thompson yet, and start with this new album, I sincerely envy you. Some may have sold their soul to the devil to earn their skills, yet this guy sounds like he stole the grace of all angels at once.