Reset – Marriott (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Although Marriott bases his sound on some classic and timeless urban styles, Reset proves that he is also an artist very much working in the here-and-now. The beats are drawn from skittering trap sonics, tracks such as Friend Zone cocoon themselves in R&B vibes and Cityscape owes as much to a soul groove as it does to rap or hip-hop.

But one element of the album certainly harks back to those pioneering days of hip-hop past and that is Marriott’s ability to fire off deft and dexterous lyrics, offer up intricate wordplay and build literate soundscapes. But again, this is just one aspect of what he has to offer vocally.

And it is that range and flexibility, that ability to genre-hop which keeps the album fresh and entertaining. He moves easily from the chilled yet pulsating Afro-beats of Feel My High to the atmospheric and spacious Leaving YYZ to the more pop-infused The Father’s Love seamlessly. And whilst he can shift styles and embrace all manner of genres past and present, the album always feels cohesive, always the work of the same artist.

Too many artists try to turn their hand to such musical diversity and end up with albums that either sound fractured or perhaps feels like they are trying too hard to impress. Marriott, however, manages to jump these sonic divisions with ease and the results always sound like…well, Marriott.

Reset is everything you want from a modern album. It weaves together all manner of musical building blocks, from soul to pop to rap to hip-hop to R&B and more besides, and whilst those sounds are instantly recognisable, what he builds with them, the sonic architecture that he uses as a platform for his songs is wonderfully contemporary and forward-thinking. It is that combination of the fresh dancing with the familiar which is going to win him plenty of fans.

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