Album Watch: Marques Toliver, Ph.D

Monday, December 19, 2011

Marques Toliver had my undivided attention right when he decided to bust out with a violin to blaze away on a wonderful song called, "White Sails". He released his EP, Butterflies Are Not Free back in May to appreciative blog praise and he's not letting the calendar days of 2011 dry up until he squeezes out yet another little stunner.

An abstract cornucopia is what Studying For My Ph.D is. Well, mixtapes in general usually are, yet Studying is a real ram-bam hybrid of classical decadence meeting up with stark modern stylings that further drives home Toliver's forte. The subject matter of Studying focuses on Toliver's adopted home of England as he touches on current events such as the London street riots, plus other forums of fancy. With voices borrowed from the likes of Roberta Flack, Eartha Kitt, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj, news reports, and some recognizable musical samples, Studying in all of it's jigsaw craft, comes together pretty darn well. At times it can be a bit much with the fast n' furious violin work of Toliver coming at you from all sides. Also the real beautification arrives in the slower jams ("Danger", "Beast" and "Astrology"). Yet, when you hear "The Answer" (which weaves in a nice Jackson 5 sample), you can hear that Toliver has a lot of big ideas in play and you wish for this idea to expand into a bigger project.

Released exclusively over at the UK newsie, The Guardian, Studying For My Ph.D is Marques' way of further showing  how he can incorporate his vibe in various and unique dimensions. Not to mention all this 'studying' that he's doing will one day pay off.  

Listen and download it for free here---no regrets you'll have.

Camino: Bama Love Soul

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