By: David Schultz
Louisiana soul singer Marc Broussard has a credibility that fellow Southerner Taylor Hicks would kill for. On S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, Broussard's first album since parting ways with Island Records, Broussard offers an ambitious selection of covers, cherry picking familiar chestnuts like Al Green's "Love And Happiness," The Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself" and Otis Redding's smoldering "I've Been Loving You Too Long." Though capably rendered, Broussard would have better served with a different slate of songs. A truly wonderful soul singer, Broussard is not overmatched on S.O.S., but by covering songs intimately connected to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Redding and Marvin Gaye, he's inviting comparisons to legends whose company the 25-year old singer isn't ready to join.
Broussard's best efforts on S.O.S. come when he moves away from sweaty Seventies-era soul: on "Yes We Can," an Allen Toussaint penned, New Orleans-style song first recorded by The Pointer Sisters, Broussard joyously gets in touch with his Louisiana roots and Blood Sweat & Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" benefits from his deft touch. However, Broussard's voice alone isn't enough to save Save Our Soul. Technically proficient, Broussard's band lacks the heart and passion that make soul worth saving in the first place. This is not so much a a case of Broussard completely getting in over his head with S.O.S.. Rather, it is a project that should have come after establishing himself as worthy of the material. Instead of bringing soul's traditions into a new century, Save Our Soul is "Taylor-made" for lite-FM radio.