Chocolate Genius Inc announces his Swansongs
CHOCOLATE GENIUS INC.
Release Date: 18 October 2010
One Little Indian Records
With a career spanning over twenty years, Marc Anthony Thompson a.k.a. Chocolate Genius Inc. is a free spirit that refuses to be pigeonholed as either rock, soul, folk or jazz. Swansongs, his fourth album, comes after a five year period of silence and looks set to finally gain him the public recognition that he deserves. Filled with the musings of a man reaching the middle of his years, Swansongs probes the troubled waters of remembrance, introspection and mourning.
Born in Panama and raised in California, it was New York, a metropolis swarming with open-minded and unbiased musicians such as mavericks Marc Ribot, Doveman, Cibo Matto, John Medeski or Chris Wood, which enabled him to realize his creativity. Like Terry Callier and Arthur Lee (Love) or his contemporaries Joe Henry or Mark Eitzel, his songwriting is subtly universal, born far from the folklore mire and the fickle trends of the day. He first came to light as a free and unfettered singer-songwriter with his debut album Black Music in 1998, followed by Godmusic (2001) and Black Yankee Rock (2005). Appropriating Van Dyke Parks' clever mind or Sly Stone’s feverish prophecies, he combined the dry rage of ancestral blues with the rebellious exultation of New York jazz, and the raw energy of indie rock with soul's sensuous growls. Swansongs however, is more of an intimate whisper, a vibrant farewell to dearly departed beings, places and things that marked the first half of his life and in essence completes a personal triptych begun with Black Music and Godmusic.
Recorded over nine days in Los Angeles, the eleven songs that make up Swansongs are tinged with a serene and pained wisdom, based on the acknowledgement that every life is built on loss, absence and the company of ghosts. We have the reverberating blues of 'Enough For/Of You', the piano and voice embrace of 'Like a Nurse' and 'Sit & Spin'; the twisting ramblings of 'Lump' and the salutary surges of 'When I Lay You Down' and 'Ready Now'; the carnal confessions of 'Kiss Me' and the ghostly lyrics of 'Mr. Wonderful' (where the voice of a dead father disappears in an electronic halo).
Marc Anthony Thompson has also worked extensively in scoring film and theatre productions and was also acoustic guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions Tour in 2006. It is here then, between these apparently opposite poles, between sonic adventure and traditional writing, and the exploration of the depths of the human soul, that the singular beauty of Swansongscan be found.