Marc Almond: “The Velvet Trail” album review

Marc Almond, the British pop icon, started his career in the eighties as the part of the legendary and controversial duo Soft Cell. Marc later continued working on his solo career, releasing numerous albums and working on a number of projects. Diverse, but always with a touch of his own style which has defined his work throughout the years.

This year he made a come back to the pop style flirting with the sound from his early work, perhaps even Soft Cell inspired, that fans who follow Marc will recognise in some of the songs on the album. This is the album with the catchy choruses and great beats but also with a melancholic feel, that can be found both in the music and lyrics. The album consists of 16 songs, of which four are instrumentals. But as a whole, it tells a story, a story only Marc can tell. The album was made as a “strange” collaboration with producer Chris Braide. The two of them didn’t even meet or speak on the phone before the album was completed. After receiving some tunes from Chris, Marc felt inspired to do another author’s album. Marc and Chris worked online, Marc sending Chris the vocals to mix them in his studio in Los Angeles, and that’s how The Velvet Trail was made.

Bad to Me, Zipped Black Leather Jacket and Demon Lover are uplifting and joyful moments on the album, where Soft Cell lovers can renew their love for Marc’s work. Earthly brings you to the new world of Marc’s with a powerful chorus, marvellous lyrics that even those not familiar with Marc’s previous work can easily fall in love with, but with a bit more of a modern touch. Life In My Own Way, Velvet Trail and Scar make up the core of the general feel of the album which is of a personal retrospective of someone’s life, either Marc’s or your own.

Scar I personally consider as a flagship of the emotional side of Marc on this album. It tells a story of the broken relationships. Although there are many melancholic moments on the album, it is also joyful as well. It is a retrospective album, but celebrating Marc’s life at this moment in time. The album Velvet Trail is this year’s recommendation for all Soft Cell and Marc Almond fans, but also to those who would like a journey through their own life, with a soundtrack