Simply Marsha

My faith in soul music was restored last night in the form of Ms. Marsha Ambrosius, formerly of the Brit Soul group Floetry, now of Philadelphia. It's become an annual trek to SOB's in New York City to see Marsha, but last night was a treat, as she premiered a few songs from her upcoming solo debut, "Late Nights and Early Mornings". As "The Songtress" in Floetry, Marsha's voice and lyrics were the yin to "The Floacist" Natalie Stewart's playful, yet seductive rhymes. On her own, she's both yin and yang, melodic, vocally strong, playful, sexy, all while singing from true-to-life experiences that make everyone within range of her angelic voice remember the time.

Her shows have become the perfected blend of Floetry standards, her guest appearances for numerous artists, material from her mixtapes and last night, songs from her eagerly anticipated debut album. She wasted little time in giving the packed audience a preview of what was in store as she segued from last year's "Take Care" into the title track from her new album and left the crowd spellbound as she wove a story of a late-night lovemaking session that lasted through the morning. From there it was Floetry classic "Getting Late" and the soul kept pouring from the stage until she wrapped up with the Michael Jackson sung, Marsha penned, "Butterflies".

While it's easy to fall in love with her voice, the songs take a careful listening because the vocal phrasing and structuring of the songs are key as she tells stories that I witnessed more than one woman, nod in acknowledgment to. For instance, she talked through an intro of a song about an ex moving on to a next relationship and how you really feel about the situation, then she opened her mouth and sang, "I hope she cheats on you with an NBA player" and sang a playful ditty which I will call "Bitter", before going into the real song about the emotions that weigh on your heart as your former love transitions.

The personality she pours into her songs and her stage presence is what attracts me to her shows year after year, but it's the lyricism that's made the two Floetry releases classic to me and has her "Yours Truly Vol.1" mixtape on heavy rotation over a year after its release and "Yours Sincerely" a favorite as well. Three years after the Floetry split, two after it was announced that she would be going solo via Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and false starts on the release, a label change to J Records, it seems as if this summer is going to be filled with late nights and early mornings for more than a few fans.

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