The Complete Aviation Studio Albums (2004-2020) packs a punch. It collects all seven full-length studio albums by Marcus Singletary, and presents all the different themes he has targeted in one place. The music is unmistakably Singletary, as he slices and dices bullies on "(I Don't Need Your) Permission," tears apart the Industrial Military Complex in "Top of the Sky," and criticizes American policing with "Come On Over to My Side, Baby." "Get the Dance Gene" urges listeners to question everything, but Singletary does not always compose from the skeptic's pen. "Lead the Way," "Start Something," and "(You Can Call Me) Anytime" prove more upbeat and hope-laden, with Marcus urging peace, love, and togetherness.
The 50-song set charts a stylistic progression that begins with minimalism ("Shame," "Train," "Super Tuesday") and winds through the dense wheatfields of concept and experimentalism ("Shangri-Rock," "Dead Cops and Starfighters/The Hero Returns Home," "Space Train to Babylon") before finding and honing in on the toughest edges of hard rock and roll ("Devil's Rage," "Genovia," "Freeform Guitar.") The entire time, Singletary moves from instrument to instrument, while performing either solo, or alongside LA session players such as former Doobie Brother Chet McCracken ("Can it Be Real," "Drop of a Hat") and being aided, in the department of sonics, by engineers including Don Casale (Iron Butterfly, Roberta Flack), Rodney Mills (Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special), and Ross Pallone (The Jacksons, Christopher Cross.)
Free to discuss anything and everything, Marcus has taken an all-encompassing approach to music, weaving influences from far and wide together to create an individualized sound. Early recordings display a love for the blues. Middle period cuts reflect an interest in psychedelia. More recent compositions have dabbled in the punk ethos. It's an extraordinarily exciting and unique blend that Singletary has spent almost every day during the last few decades crafting. It may confuse those who mainly discover artists through FM airplay, TV appearances, and million-dollar ad buys, but its significance is clear to people who know better than to follow such roads.
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