2016 / Marc Enfroy
Review by Michael Debbage
After releasing 4 albums in 4 consecutive years from 2004 to 2008 it has taken 4 years for Marc Enfroy to follow up on 2012’s Dreams Of The Forest. One look at the album cover as well as the musical landscape you are about to explore will quickly explain why Crossroads is not the Enfroy of the past. His latest creation is larger than life from production to arrangement to complexity but is it his best?
Enfroy is definitely expressing himself but in a whole different light as he also introduces himself as a lyricist with Crossroads including 3 vocal compositions. These include Aili Laine on “Your Silence Is A Razor” and Lila Ives on “Fading White” and “Shed My Skin”. The results are somewhat mixed with Ives’ performance at times sounding forced. All of these tracks are revisited as instrumentals and frankly overall are the preferred renditions.
Speaking of the instrumentals there is a greater focus on the drama and progression versus the melody. So much so that you will have to wait until track 4 where we find the gorgeous “Sepia” featuring Ali’s wordless vocals as a backdrop to Enfroy’s piano and what sounds like the cello work of Sarah Cleveland. Similar results can be found on “Shattered” and the melancholy “Moonlight Obsession”. If you really want to find Marc Enfroy at his tender and progressive best search out the slow builder “Wildfire Rising”. This essentially represents the crossroads of the Marc of old transforming throughout the song into his more current edgy approach.
There is no doubt that Crossroads is big and bold but this does not translate to better and beautiful. This is most obvious when we revisit his first album with the closer (prior to the bonus tracks) “Unbounded Reprise” from his debut album. Nevertheless, kudos to Enfroy for being daring and ambitious as Crossroads is still impressive and no doubt his most adventurous recording to date
January 8, 2017
Review by Kathy Parsons