British singer-songwriter Theon-Marcel aka Fantastic Mr Marcel returns with a statement that everyone needs to witness. Taking a while to simply categorise his music, you could describe it as soul-pop meets alternative hip-hop. Evolving as an artist with each release, Marcel’s aim is to create content to help people in a positive way either by healing, helping or inspiring them to be their best version. Released March 14th, ‘Tiger in a Room’ does exactly what you’d want from Fantastic Mr Marcel.
‘The Villain Interlude’ comes onto the scene with a rhythmic acoustic guitar and a warming vocal. For a track that’s only 1:14, it’s context is as important as any other track on the album and proves that Fantastic Mr Marcel is unlike any other artist at the moment. It showcases an artist simply getting into character but sticking to their own script. Featuring Lord Tennyson, ‘Inside of Me’ triggers in a hypnotic beat over a progressive hip-hop arrangement. Another short track, one thing I’d say to engage with the artists even further is to create a wider production. The song is screaming for a stronger instrumentation behind the prominent vocals. Still holding your gaze, if you’re into hip-hop meets soulful trap, this song is for you.
‘Tongue Out Acoustic’ resorts back to a more stripped-back approach just like The Villain Interlude. Marcel uses humour slightly through his poetic lyrics, making listeners engage with the story. Using a laid back approach for the arrangement is the perfect fit for the lyrics, especially ‘Tongue Out and I don’t give a f***”. A track that’s not for the faint hearted, it’s explicit lyrics responds as a careless, relaxed anthem. ‘Superior Animals’ plays as the longest track on the EP and feels less prominent as the other tracks. Considering it’s length, there’s not a strong melody hook in the number that engages fully unlike the other songs. Dynamically, it stays the same throughout not feeling like there’s a peak. Despite the length, if you’re into experimental hip-hop with a mixture of trap, you’ll love it.
‘Nocturnal Creatures’ features Suga Cain and one of the track’s most infectious beats. Using an array of modulation to create a soundscape like no other on the track, it’s the vocal melody in the chorus that will send a shiver down your spine. Sitting as probably the best track on the release, Nocturnal Creatures marks an artist staying true to their roots. ‘Tiger in a Room’ is, of course, the title track of the release and includes a hypnotic beat that compliments the repetitive, rhythmic vocals with vengeance. ‘Tiger and Pink Flamingos’ is a send-off from an artist that’s simply saying this is just the beginning.
Overall, the release is true to the artist but feels like it could do with elevating the production that little bit higher. Nevertheless, Fantastic Mr Marcel returns with 7 tracks of honesty.