Chris Marsol

Butterflies, Lipstick & Hand Grenades

by John Bergstrom

9 June 2010

 
cover art

Chris Marsol

Butterflies, Lipstick & Hand Grenades

(Hiero Imperium)
US: 30 Mar 2010
UK: Import
Online Release Date: 20 Oct 2009

The most interesting aspect of Butterflies, Lipstick & Handgrenades is that it appears on Hiero Imperium records. The label is best known for underground hip-hop acts such as Souls of Mischief and Hieroglyphics, so a straight-up rocker like Bay Area product Chris Marsol is new territory. You have to commend Hiero for wanting to expand its scope, but, unfortunately, Butterflies, Lipstick & Hand Grenades isn’t likely to expand its prestige.

Marsol’s voice, a passionate instrument that recalls Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson at his least histrionic, is his greatest asset. But he’s put that voice to work fronting mostly faceless, often wanky fusion-rock. The playing and recording are immaculate, but the songs recall more of an American Idol castoff than a genuine up-and-comer. Yes, it’s time to bring up that most dreaded of fusion-rock least common denominators, Lenny Kravitz. When Marson scales back the chunky guitars and gets into a bit of a groove, he’s better than that. Too much of Butterflies, Lipstick & Hand Grenades, though, sounds like “Album Oriented Rock” radio circa 1993.

Butterflies, Lipstick & Hand Grenades

Rating:

Topics: chris marsol
 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article