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  • Cy White

MRSHLL: ARCHIVES 1 (2017-2021)

If you missed MRSHLL's debut album breathe, you sure as hell aren't ready for his ARCHIVES 1 EP! A collection of songs he'd written and/or recorded between 2017 and 2021.

This young man is a work of art. It does my heart good to see that he's truly walked into his greatness. His blooming is a spectacular display of what it means to one one's self. To be free (as Queen Ancestor Nina Simone said, without fear) and be beautiful. The album opens on something elegant, smooth, eloquently penned and vocally directed. The harmonies alone are enough to clue you into the depth of MRSHLL's talent. More than that, however, ARCHIVES 1 acts as the perfect aural diary of a man in love, in pain because of it and freeing himself from that pain in spectacular fashion. His cheeky bravado with "potato" tells you exactly where his mind is right now. ("You in your feelings, boo boo? Now you're cryin', boo-hoo. Boo-hoo, bitch!" Giving us real Cakes tea, and I'm here for it!) That boom-cack is cracking like a bad spine! The boldness. The badness! The absolute regalness of MRSHLL's ability to both read you and lift you up in the same breath. He's really aiming for Fass Auntie status with this track.

At the same time, the album has incredible depth and empathy. He never once loses his emotional core, the weight and polish of his voice will always be the focal here. Don't be mistaken. His R&B center is intact. He allows himself to embrace the sensual crush of R&B's '90s grooves ("nervous") while still clinging on to the emotive depths the genre should always reach for. I am pleased that MRSHLL trusted us with work he's been collecting for the past four years. Though we only get an EP this time around, there's no real feeling that the piece is too short. No sense that something's missing. MRSHLL is just that type of classic talent that can fill a space with every ounce of himself, making it impossible for even an EP to seem like its lacking.

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