The one thing I know for a fact about Marc Jordan is that when he takes on a song - any song - he makes it his own. ALL his own.
Never losing sight of its birthright and always with respect for the integrity of the original, Marc's interpretations are as unique as they are reverent. Never tedious, always compelling, always ... Marc.
So when Marc tackles (most gently) a whole new set of old songs, you just know you're in for treat. Maybe because he's written so many monster hits you can rest assured he knows a good song when he hears one. Just ask Rod Stewart, Cher, Diana Ross and Bonnie Raitt.
"Both Sides" is a diverse collection of seemingly unrelated masterpieces. Yet that turns out to be the cohesive thread. Each song is a brilliant treasure on its own. United by Marc's inimitable style, they become a convocation of cherished musical memories.
Marc explains “I thought let’s try and see if these songs can all work together in some weird way, because there’s a wide scope of songs and songwriters but they are all just great songs.”
And they are. "Walk On The Wild Side" is pure mind-blowing musical poetry. The fit is so perfect it's hard to fathom that Marc did not write this himself. "Both Sides Now" is the ideal title track, delivered in an intimate style so snug and confidential you feel as if he is singing just to you. Marc states quite simply "I think it's one of the best songs ever written." As for me, I think one of the best songs ever written is "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life" (Alan and Marilyn Bergman). Does Marc do it justice? Of course he does. This is where the master shines. It's all in the telling of the story - simple, sweet, dynamic without unnecessary vocal histrionics. Marc draws you in with every note. And every note become his note.
The lush and silky orchestrations (provided by the Prague Orchestra and exquisitely produced by Lou Pomanti) provide not only a beautiful backdrop to these classic favourites, they propel Marc to a new and exquisite style of singing. “That’s the most important thing, that the arrangements don’t overshadow the song,” said Jordan about the sparse instrumentation on the album.
The two new originals only compliment the mix. I have to tall you the one he wrote for his daughter Zoe absolutely slays me. "He's Going To Break Your Heart" is pure Marc Jordan magic. It reminds me of when my own son first fell in love. Without thinking (who me?) I said "Oh wow. Your first heartbreak." My son was none to pleased with my statement but of course mama was right. Marc matches the most poignant lyrics with the most perfect music and an instant classic is born. Ditto on "I Saw Your Smile" (written for his wife Amy) - so very old-school and so purely Marc. If you didn't know these songs were knew, well, you would think they old, and had already stood the test of many decades.
I could go on and on but let me just say this: "Both Sides" is a "record for the ages". Marc the musical story-teller at his mature, wise, most riveting best. Marrying very special songs with his very special style. He has (yet again) captured my heart. Get the record and allow him to capture yours.
Vickie van Dyke