Marc James' 8-song CD, "Maximum Action," is a brilliant mix of David Bowie-meets-Bryan Ferry Euro-pop that is fit for a dance club as well as for a cabaret. Relying primarily on ambient, synth-infused soundscapes, James delivers wry, clever, and funny lyrics with an arch delivery invoking a dapper rogue completely unaware of his obviousness. The lead track, "The Perfect Stranger," captures this most effectively with a dry but melodic vocal in full seductive mode. "Hard Driving Music" rides a bouncing disco-like bass-line in a tuneful exercise that is pure schmaltz ("Do you want to swing, to dance, and sway to that hard driving rocking and rolling") - and is absolutely irresistible. On "Tribute to Marilyn" (yes, Monroe) James references Ray Davies' classic "Celluloid Heroes" with a straight-faced ingenuousness that is as subversive as it is catchy. Closing the album as strongly as it begins, "You Have A Secret" is built on a classic doo-**** chord progression that becomes transformed by a breathy, understated narrative (a la Leonard Cohen), and embellished by a solemn and perfect background chorus. In the end, Marc James' "Maximum Action" CD is that rare intriguing album by an artist that will win you over with his lush, melodic accessibility.
-Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
Check out Marc James's music on RadioIndy.com with link to purchase and links to popular sites