Marc E. Bassy, Gossip Columns | Album Review
Eclectic pop artist Marc E. Bassy delivers an enjoyable, well-rounded, full-length debut album with Gossip Columns.
For many folks, the world was introduced to Marc E. Bassy in 2016, when he dropped his second EP, Groovy People. Difficult to classify or pigeonhole, Bassy proved himself to be eclectic. Stylistically, he incorporates pop, urban, and singer/songwriter cues into his music. This makes him a compelling artist – one chocked full of potential. Now the time has finally arrived – Bassy drops his full-length debut album, Gossip Columns. It’s definitely worth checking out.
“Black Jeep” commences Gossip Columns honestly, which is refreshing. On the brief cut, he discusses his family and his life when he was younger. Even though this is a heavier number, it still features a catchy chorus.
“We got a black Jeep to get us over / We got a black Jeep for starting over / We got a black Jeep, it’s four-wheel drive / We got a black Jeep, we’ll still survive.”
Standout “So Simple” is well-produced, featuring a balanced sound that’s not under- or over-produced. The infectious groove stands out the most. Vocally, Bassy showcases his awesome pipes, never over-singing, effectively exhibiting composure and poise. The subject matter isn’t game changing, centering around a superficial girl, but successful. G-Eazy is the perfect fit as a guest, even if he drops predictable rhymes.
Once more, on “Til I Get Found,” Bassy delivers strong vocals. Artistically, he excels in his niche, slated somewhere between pop and urban contemporary music. While he doesn’t spoil us with his falsetto, it’s ripe when he hits it. Besides a well-rounded performance, “Til I Get Found” features excellent, smooth production work. The beat, groovy to the nth degree, is ready-made for the steppers.
There are plenty of things to like about “Plot Twist”: The production work is slick, the vibe is killer, and Bassy gives a sweet performance, rich in sexy falsetto. Also strengthening the case of the song is the sex game, part of the plot twist. Even though sex in involved in the twist, Bassy is only into ONE girl. Kyle, guests on the second verse, provides a nice assist, suiting the style of Bassy. There are no glaring flaws to be found, just enjoyableness to the nth degree.
On “Made Love,” featuring Kehlani, Bassy laments the fact that he and his girlfriend complicated their relationship by hooking up first before connecting emotionally. The theme is a relatable one, particularly in a hook-up dominated culture. Both Bassy and Kehlani shine here. He follows up “Heroine.” “Heroine” is in line with the relationship-oriented songs that dominate Gossip Columns, shifts to cheating. The pre-chorus stands out in particular:
“You like the way that she move / You wanna touch her, you wanna f*ck her, don’t lie, don’t lie / You left your woman at home / Hoping that she’ll turn a blind eye, blind eye / All of your passion is gone / You feel so empty inside, inside, inside, inside, yeah.”
“Let Me Rock”
“Let Me Rock” exhibits a bright sound, set in a major key. However, Bassy seems to have some demons, specifically drugs. “New Ting” finds Bassy dabbling in reggae-infused pop once again. If nothing else, “New Ting” is slick, filled with mad game and swagger. “The Season” eclipses the previous duo, employing a harder beat, and a minor key. Although brief, it packs a punch. Bassy is cool, but tough, dropping the bomb as his first lyric.
“F*ck if I get on, I’mma keep smoking / Hit me later on for some deep stroking.”
“Bondage” returns the focus to relationships, well, mostly relations. Fittingly, it’s set in a minor key, given the fact that bondage is typically associated as a dark, ‘left of center’ sexual practice. Neo-soul is resurrected, at least temporarily, on “Don’t Let Her Go.” Here, Bassy is on his “R&B shit.” Actually, that’s because of the girl he’s clearly infatuated with, in a number of ways. Robin Thicke probably wishes he could’ve written and sung this blue-eyed soul gem. Bassy sings of drugs, sex, and the relationship itself. The chorus shines:
“Yeah, so don’t let her go, don’t let her go / I can’t always be there, but I want to, I swear / Don’t let her go, don’t let her go / It’s restless over there, but you know they don’t compare / Don’t let her go, yeah, don’t let her go / No one else can compare, I’m bound to stay right here / Oh, yeah.”
“Gossip Columns” featuring Bobby Brackins is an interesting record. Bassy not only shows off his pipes, but also his bars. He’s got a flow, effectively pop-rapping the second verse. Also, fitting to the title, he successfully ‘trash talks.’ Brackins offers a solid contrast with his rhymes on the third verse. On the soulful “Westside Love,” the Cali singer pays ode to LA. Besides his own strong performance, Bassy enlists YG for fine rap verse.
Breakout single “You & Me” is smartly reprised on Gossip Columns, after appearing on Groovy People EP in 2016. “You & Me” is chill, but packs a punch despite being laid back. Reggae-infused pop is sometimes effective or blatantly ineffective. In the case of “You & Me,” Bassy “hits the mark.” He also scores another high-flying assist from G-Eazy.
Two more selections grace Gossip Columns. On “Real One,” Bassy rants about rich, superficial girls. Ultimately, he characterizes himself as being “The only real one.” Nonetheless, Bassy wants to ‘have cake and eat it too’:
“Let me make one thing perfectly clear / I still wanna be your one.”
“Plot Twist (Remix),” featuring Hailee Steinfeld, closes out Gossip Columns excellently.
All in all, Marc E. Bassy delivers a well-rounded debut album with Gossip Columns. Throughout its course, Bassy showcases incredible eclecticism and versatility as an artist. Furthermore, this dude has a great voice, not to mention mad swagger – if that’s a thing anymore. The biggest rub about Gossip Columns is its length. In this day and age, the hour-long album is pushing it. Fortunately for Bassy, that’s nitpick central.
Gems: “So Simple,” “Til I Get Found,” “Plot Twist,” “The Season,” “Don’t Let Her Go,” “You & Me”