CURRENT ISSUE

DONATE ADVERTISE

Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Marshmellow: Love Is Love

Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Marshmellow: Love Is Love

Marshmellow is a pseudonym adopted by Marshall Smith, Auckland singer, songwriter, producer and writer, who makes music for screen productions large and small, and toured internationally with his former band The New Freedom. This new (digital) release is truly a solo affair, with all tracks performed, written and produced by Smith, though production collaborators Kings, 3ple and Alessandro Cruel appear on some of the EDM tracks that tend to overbalance the album. ‘Love Is Love’ is a stylistic mix (dance music, ballads, chamber-pop, funk, R’n’B, trance, and touches of gospel), and is an album of two halves. The first seven tracks belong purely to EDM, while the remaining songs are mellow, a musical and melodic come down, if you like. This slower half is where the gems lie: Me And Scott Walker is a lovely waltz ballad, where the melody flows easily, while The Boy Who Could Stop Time is hushed, with brushed drums, atmospheric production, and beautifully judged strings, a 180 degree turn from the EDM of The Moment I Wake Up and Heartbeat. ‘Love Is Love’ could easily be a collection of tracks cobbled together with no thematic cohesiveness, but isn’t – testament to Smith’s production abilities. A couple of tracks find a happy medium. Electro-pop dance anthem Zeros & Ones builds nicely while Small Talk balances stuttering beats with delicate vocal lines. Smith shows an extensive range, though the best material focuses attention on his melodies, words and performance.