Earth And All The Universes is the fourth studio album by multi-instrumentalist Marvin B. Naylor. All songs are written, played, and produced by Marvin. He plays a variety of stringed instruments, piano, Theremin and also sings on most tracks, a real multitalented guy. Some percussion and additional production is done by Gary J. Brady.
The music reminds me of the late 60s and early 70s semi-psychedelic pop music. The production also reminds me of the music from that era, a bit too much reverb for example, but somehow it really fits the music. The music itself is lovely. It contains a lot of acoustic guitar, mostly twelve string. The lyrics, however, are far from serious. They contain a lot of humour, which I really like and puts a smile on my face. You never know what to expect each song. I can’t help it but I sing along with some of the tracks (or at least hum along).
The album starts with the track For Sleeping Angels. Marvin sings that you shouldn’t take life too seriously (Aha, will do, Marvin!). After one and a half minutes the song opens up and becomes slightly more filled with instruments. The Never Delivery Of Yesterday has a very happy and catchy chorus. The Pirouettist reminds me of music The Beach Boys made back in the day. This song contains no lyrics but Marvin sings and hums along with the music. Diaphenia is a gentle and calm track with Marvin playing a variety of guitars. Ballad In E Major is such a beautiful piano ballad. It makes me very emotional, no vocals, no other instruments, just piano. Little Bell starts as a sweet and soft song. Around 4 minutes the track slightly changes with a semi-haunting instrumental outro. The Photograph is melancholic track. The Conversation is the shortest track on the album, which is also instrumental. The guitar playing reminds me a bit of Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips. Death Of A Centenarian starts as a slow track, but it opens up after 3,5 minutes with more instruments and choirs. Sadly the fade out starts too soon in my opinion, because when you’re finally in the mood to appreciate the complete song it starts to fade out. I Am A Summer Night is the longest track of the album. It’s quite spooky song in the beginning, but after 2 minutes the songs gets a positive twist. You think the song is over after 7 minutes but not much later the track gets a bombastic reprise.
Spaceships There Are is an EP containing two tracks (although the Bandcamp EP version has 4 tracks now). Expect the same music style as the album Earth And All The Universes. The title track Spaceships There Are is my favourite track from Marvin. I love the sound of the bass, the ambience of the song and the positive vibe it carries along. After 3,5 minutes it gets a surprising turn and becomes bombastic, including firm drums and guitar work. The bombastic part of the track only lasts half a minute and it becomes a calmer track again. Brief Encounter starts as a tender song, but after 2,5 minutes it gets very haunting for a short while. After 3,5 minutes the song ends with a lovely piece of piano.
I can understand that this music is not meant for everyone, luckily I really enjoy his combination of humour and music style. If you like light psychedelic music that reminds you of warm and quiet summer days, then you should give both albums a listen!
****+ Iris Hidding
Earth And All The Universes CD:
- For Sleeping Angels (4:33)
- The Never Delivery Of Yesterday (3:59)
- The Pirouettist (3:19)
- Diaphenia (5:32)
- Ballad In E Major (3:43)
- Little Bell (5:25)
- The Photograph (4:52)
- The Conversation (2:02)
- Death Of A Centenarian (5:23)
- I Am A Summer Night (8:57)
Spaceships There Are CD:
- Spaceships There Are (4:49)
- Brief Encounter (4:56)
You can listen to the track Spaceships There Are here (I really love this videoclip!):
You can check out my review on Background Magazine: