Marsha Ambrosius | Late Nights & Early Monrings [Review]

I was blessed to see Floetry live when they hit Da Lou (St. Louis). After 3+ hours of swaying to audio sex, I was still left saying “yes.” It’s been years since that concert and the group has split to do their own projects now. Marsha has managed to stay active with collaborations and appearances, one of the my favorites being her collabo with Jamie Foxx. Even with how active she’s been, she wasn’t immune to the push backs of her album which ends now, as her album is ready for mass consumption as of March 1st. She described the album saying; “that the overall vibe of the album is sensual, it’s sincere, it’s seductive. Not too many women get the opportunity to say what they want, and having controlled and written pretty much everything I get to do all of that on one album.” Let’s take a listen and see what she brings us.

1. “Anticipation” (Intro)
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius
You know I usually skip intros and interludes, but if there was ever an award show for intro’s that actually gets you excited for the album, this would be in the running.

2. “With You”
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius
With the assistance of Alicia Keys, anyone listening to this song is transported to one of the most sensual ménage à trois they’ve ever experienced. The hook says “I wanna uhhh, uhhh, uhhh, with you.” This may seem simple or even silly when read, but with the blatant lyrical sexuality of her male counterparts  nowadays, the subtlety of this creative censorship is welcome and appreciated. That same attention to detail is carried over to a stripped down track that features, keys, drums, and only a few more instruments. You will definitely need to turn the lights down and TV off to get into this one.

3. “Late Nights & Early Mornings”
Produced by Rich Harrison
You read what she said about the album and with this being the title track, you can expect this one to be extra sexy. She seems to channel Prince perfectly here with a playful falsetto and track that sounds like a leftover from Purple Rain…and by no means is that a diss (especially since I consider that the best movie soundtrack ever made.)

4. “Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)”
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius and Canei Finch
I won’t change my tone here, much. I wasn’t of a fan of this song when I first heard it back in August as the lead single to the album. I’m still not head over heels for it and it’s inclusion, especially here, on the album doesn’t help things any. We’ve gone from sensual and sexy to upbeat and vengeful. I can confess though, that I don’t think it’s a bad song as in they did a bad job, I’m just not a fan of it personally.

5. “Far Away”
Produced by Just Blaze
“Far Away” is the second single and video from the album and has seemingly become a favorite of the LGBT community. This is probably due to the video rather than anything else about the song itself. Lyrically it talks about the distance (figuratively or literally) between Marsha and someone she loves. It’s always tough to move on with life after a relationship has dissolved, and this song perfectly illustrates that. I imagine that the sentiment would is the same gay or straight and I wish that we heterosexuals would have embraced this song just as steadfastly as the LGBT community did. This is a really beautiful song.

6. “Lose Myself”
Produced by Canei Finch
Lauryn Hill’s song is selected for remake and 6th song on this album. There are those of us that really love and miss hearing some new L-Boogie so Marsha remaking this joint is welcome. The crazy thing is that Marsha may have done this one better than the Lauryn version. The track is kept simple as not to overpower the lyrics and vocals. Marsha’s voice is extremely controlled and focused on this one as she stays way from the wide ranging vocal acrobatics that we love her for.

7. “Your Hands”
Produced by Andre Harris And Vidal Davis
Often when I talk to folks about relationships, I talk about the mutual responsibility of telling someone that you love them. Not only is the person that says it being vulnerable by saying it to you, but if you say it back or don’t explain why you don’t feel the same, you are accepting responsibility for that person’s feelings. If I could sing it, this is how it would sound. Marsha croons “Here’s my heart, now don’t you break it baby. I leave it here in your hands.” The real magnificence of this song is that she manages to weave the physical definition and implications of the song with the emotional expressions seamlessly.

8. “I Want You To Stay”
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius
There is a old school love in the DNA of this song. The 2-step beat of the song and what I assume is live instrumentation really help blend well with, and complete the MJ personality of this song. I don’t know how anyone could leave if you put this song on or sung it for them. I guess the best way to describe this song is to say it feels good. You’ll understand when you hear it, it’s one of my faves on the album.

9. “Sour Times”
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius
Taking on her second remake on this album, we get some Portishead in what proves to be a pretty faithful remake. She adds a little scratching and sounds as if she beefed up the bass a little bit but the biggest change is the vocals and harmonies on this one. Marsha already has one of the most distinguishable voices and she somehow seems to sing with celestial execution here.

10. “Tears”
Produced by Focus
Tears is presented to us over an old soul/blues/Motown sound and features what may be one of her highest and longest notes in recent memory. That note really adds to the impassioned nakedness of this song. If you’ve ever ended a relationship and longed to get a chance to apologize and ask for them back, this is your song. Hell, if you’ve ever been dumped and you want to imagine them begging for you back, this is your song. I don’t know anything about the recording of this song, but something about it sounds really raw and real. At sub 3 minutes, it’s the shortest actual song on the album, but the brevity in which it reaches it’s crescendo is part of what makes it so enjoyable.

11. “Chasing Clouds”
Produced by Syience
Syience is known to bring a certain amount of depth and drama to the tracks he produces and this song is no different. Including, but not limited to the production of the keys, drums, and chords of this song, the writing on this one is second to none. It’s hard to pick a favorite on the album, but this is probably one of the closest to favorite as I have.

12. “The Break Up Song”
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius
After a few songs that lamented and chronicled lost relationships, this offering is about knowing when to call it quits, for good. This is something that is often overlooked as we like to hold on for the sake of time or effort, knowing that we’re pouring energy into an endless quagmire parading around as a relationship. When we’re kids, we think “love is enough” and when we become adults, we realize that it isn’t by most accounts. We have limitations that we don’t sometimes realize until things happen in a relationship. I won’t ruin the story on this one, but you definitely need to check out the story telling on this one and look to see it in some movie or sitcom soon. This would be the other song that would be chosen as fave or tied for fave.

13. “Butterflies (remix)”
Produced by Marsha Ambrosius and Canei Finch
I think this may be her most famous song, not originally sung by her. When I first heard it, I assumed it was an MJ song (meaning he wrote it). Later we found out that she originally wrote this song and the rest is history. The song peaked out at 14 on the top 100 and is pretty universally known by fans of various genres.

Bottom Line:
As she stated, this album comes off a trip through a woman’s emotions through (a) relationships. You could also say that that same focus is part of what makes this album both great and limited. As unifying and understood as the songs come across, the composition of the album is sometimes off-putting as we go from sensual to angry, loving to dismissive, nostalgic to done. Maybe that’s part of the beauty of the album? Either way, what you get is a successful album that is definitely worth the wait and my early favorite for album of the year. With varied topics and sound, it offers some great additions to your playlist, be it for Late Nights, or Early Mornings.

Soulections: Damn near the entire album, you need to pick this one up.

16 Comments

  1. Mr. A says:

    Great review my bruva! This is probably the first album I’ve anticipated in quite some time and your review captures many of the reasons why. I purchased the single from iTunes and will most likely follow suit with the album. Thanks for the review, a good soulection indeed.

  2. 12kyle says:

    Great review, bruh!

    I’ve been a fan since the Floetry days. I don’t buy a lot of music but I WILL cop this one tomorrow!

  3. Pingback:Marsha Ambrosius – Late Nights & Early Mornings : nappyafro.com

  4. Clay Davis says:

    Can you recommend any songs?

    • saule wright says:

      Thanks for rollin’ through Clay! Honestly, every song on this album with the exception of “I Hope She Cheats on You” are dope. I guess my personal faves are “With You”, “Late Nights Early Mornings”, “Chasing Clouds”, “Break Up Song”, Your Hands”, “I Want You To Stay.” But really, the album is a win.

      • Clay Davis says:

        just got the cd and checked it out good job Saule

        • saule wright says:

          Thanks man! What are you favorites now that you got it?

          • Clay Davis says:

            She got me at the end with Butterflies it was perfect. I loved: “Chasing Clouds”, “Your Hands”, “Break Up Song”, “I Want You To Stay”, “Far Away”, “With You”, “Late Nights & Early Mornings”. it was all good really.

          • Clay Davis says:

            The “Butterflies” remix, “Late Nights & Early Mornings”, “Far Away”, “Lose Myself”, “Your Hands” and “I Want You To Stay” were the best to me

  5. Pingback:The Numbers Game: Marsha Ambrosius is #2 : nappyafro.com

  6. saule wright says:

    Thanks again Clay, glad you enjoyed the album!

  7. Pingback:The Numbers Game: Chris Brown Is #1 : nappyafro.com

  8. Pingback:The Numbers Game: Wiz Khalifa Is #2 : nappyafro.com

  9. Margarito says:

    Hi there, You have done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and
    personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

Leave a Reply to Margarito Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bulk Email Sender