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Marcus King - Mood Swings (Album Review)

Monday, 08 April 2024 Written by Jack Butler-Terry

Photo: JM Collective

Stratospheric rises are rarely without their drawbacks. When South Carolina blues prodigy Marcus King burst onto the scene with his band back in 2015 at the age of just 19, guitar fans the world over sat up and paid attention. 

Over the years, he has continued to gain traction with his silky vocals and wild six string skills but road life eventually caught up to him and he lived with addiction for some time, eventually getting clean before turning over a fresh creative leaf with his third solo album, which heralds a whole new musical direction.  

For the most part King’s blues have moved away from whiskey-soaked towards tear-stained, and his increased focus on vulnerability works wonders. 

Paired with stunning production from the legendary Rick Rubin, songs such as This Far Gone and Cadillac carry a sense of warmth that resonates instantly.

King’s vocal lines are sumptuous and his guitar work is impeccable, while further instrumentation tastefully fills out King’s performances, leading to some big numbers that grab and hold your attention.

‘Mood Swings’ finds King venturing in numerous directions: there are flecks of folk on the gentle Soul It Screams, crumbs of country-pop on Hero and a dose of soul on album highlight Delilah. And when he does dip back into his hell-raising ways, like on the blistering Me Or Tennessee, it's with a self-assurance that suggests King is at the top of his game right now. 

Less a new chapter and more of a reboot, this is the sound of Marcus King hitting the form of his life. Not only is he more complete as a songwriter and performer, but he sounds reborn as someone who knows exactly who he needs to be.

Marcus King Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 05 2024 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Wed November 06 2024 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Thu November 07 2024 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Sat November 09 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Sun November 10 2024 - CARDIFF University Great Hall
Tue November 12 2024 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre

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