A pretty courageous move to call an album “The Rebirth Of Marvin”. Singer, songwriter, and producer Jared Samuel Erskine, who is known as October London, does just that with his 30-minute set which just came out on Death Row Records. With the longest track clocking in at 3:43 minutes and a lot of tunes being interludes, this is a pretty short and uneven affair. There are actually a lot of Marvin moments here, like the typical Marvin whining on the opening “Sensual Conversations” and October’s timbre and diction really coming close to the master, like on “Back To Your Place”. I just don’t find anything here which actually makes a connection between 70s Marvin and today. It sounds too much like a nostalgia act. Nothing really original coming to the fore. Short tracks like “Midnight Love Affair” sound like cheap copies of Marvin’s soul.
I really like the cool and relaxing style of “Rollercoaster” with October using his falsetto to good effect. And “Mulholland Drive” with Latoya Williams, which was featured on last year’s Snoop Dogg album, still works well, even though once again, it’s almost too much Marvin. As is “Make Me Wanna”, starting out encouraging, but staying too close to the original sound of the majority of Marvin’s 70s albums, so that it almost gets too samey. “You Give Me Love” sounds too boring to these ears and “Lover’s Interlude” starts off with a sexy, percussive beat, but passes by like a quick breath, ending nowhere. “Do What You Do” simply sounds like a quick studio jam and then there is something appalling going on for the last track “You Look Better”. Using the Isaac Hayes masterpiece and sacrosanct “A Few More Kisses To Go” as a backdrop, he puts his own “You Look Better” words on top of it. This really made me cringe. Totally unimaginative, lacking creativity, individuality and guts.