I have never heard of The Marc Joseph Band (let alone their new album, Breathe), but it’s clear that they’re making their way up the ranks in the music world. Beginning the climb to fame in Toronto, the band soon became one of the top-booked bands in the GTA. It isn’t difficult to see how this was accomplished, as Marc Joseph has a degree of charm to him. His first original album, Breathe, is a showcase of the band’s talent.
The band’s site has the entire album for listeners’ to get a taste of before buying the product. Music lovers will be welcomed with a large-scale band picture, which has a gritty, grungy setting, but a more modern and glamorous filter. The impression was largely different than what the band’s music actually presented. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
So, Breathe opens up with the song surprisingly called ‘Breathe’. It’s got a common modern song structure (lyrics, lyric, chorus, lyric, lyric, chorus, musical bridge, chorus, chorus) and is really a song designed for the summer. It’s a decent start to the album and can really be used to draw more mainstream listeners. Next, on the track list is ‘Flower in a Box’ and it’s a good enough following song with a slower pace and more relaxed tone to add emphasis to the first song. However, I couldn’t get over the “tween” vibe I’d been getting from it.
‘Reckless’ is the title of the next song, with some sort of intended message being a party-hardy-time-in-which-we-don’t-care-what-happens-or-what-anyone-says-about-us – a rebellious recklessness, if you will. But the tone of the song is a little too cutesy and light that “rebel” is not the word I’d use to describe the song. Criticism aside, I like that Breathe is picking up the pace at the right time in the album, and the vocal variety is stronger with that female voice.
‘Seasons’ is a song that just came across to me as somewhat cliché in the way that love, life, and memories were compared to seasonal changes. This could hold some sentimental value towards the band as well as fans of the album. ‘City Lights’ is another slow, day-dreamy love song laced with life and times. It didn’t stand out, but it did the job to keeping the listener entertained.
‘Man of Steel’ is a song I can really get behind. This rock-n-roll fist-to-the-grindstone tune was what I expected the whole album when I first looked at The Marc Joseph Band. It’s easily my favourite song of the record for its more solid nature and inspiring message. It’s not at all cutesy and that’s what gives this song the badass seal of approval. I would love to see the production process of this song and find out exactly what went into it to make it what it is.
Finally, the last song is ‘Wretched’ and it definitely has that rock feel that many of the other songs lacked (but to be fair, they never really claimed to be rock songs in the first place). ‘Wretched’ was a bit too smooth and somewhat acoustic feeling to be the “sheer epic rock” song that the site’s album overview had boasted, but it isn’t the worst way to end an album.
All in all, there are more musical acts that are leagues worse than this group than there are bands better than it in the Canadian music scene. The album is available to give a listen to on www.themarcjosephband.ca and is worthwhile for lovers of variety. It is also available for purchase and download at iTunes.