"Marcus Singletary's concept album, DefianceScience, tells the tale of Primrose Luckett, a once-introverted scholar (Science) intent upon trading in his privileged life for the California dream (Party Like a Star). His chameleonic nature is perfect for the pursuit of perfection symbolized by Tinseltown (Shangri-Rock) and, once in the clique, he falls in love with a colleague (In the Sand). On the eve of her big breakthrough, however, she unexpectedly disappears (Genovia). Primrose's subsequent descent into dependency begins to undermine his career (Lookin' Good), yet a letter reveals that her death was staged in order to provide an escape from the industry's relentless pace (Gambler's Delight). Her urges to follow suit, in the letter (Young Lady of Royalty), become gateways into dark nights of the soul that entertain the idea of self-sabotage as rescue (Tomorrow, No).
Defiance Science's galactic cover imagery is a perfect visual representation of Singletary's sonic trip through the cosmos. He says, of writing the material, 'I constantly studied South Pacific and the Kinks' theatrical projects during the process.' When in Singletary's hands, such abstract inspirations lead to odd concoctions like quirky rocker Genovia, the structurally complex Shangri-Rock, andTomorrow, No's white-noise twang.
The song cycle was produced by Singletary; he also performed all of the instrumental parts. Mixing chores were handled by Jill Tengan, whose credits include albums by Poncho Sanchez, Britney Spears, and ZZ Ward. Tengan lists her two favorite albums asThe Three Tenors (featuring Carreras, Domingo, and Pavarotti) ('It serves as a reminder that the foundation of my work is the music and musicians, and to not screw that up') and Metallica's ...And Justice For All ('It told me I could help shape something and make an impact of my own on a work of art, if I was careful'), and says of Defiance Science:
'All of the songs are actually very different from each other, but the overall sound is coherent, as an album. Everything was recorded and mixed in Pro Tools, and I used a number of plug-ins, like the BX hybrid EQ, Renaissance compressors, and a few others. I also used some analog equipment, and ran the mix through the Neve 2408 stereo compressor - a very fast and gentle unit - just to even out the peaks. You can really hit it without too much 'pumping and breathing' or distortion. I also ran the vocals through our oldie but goodie SSL E-series board, adding about 1.5 db of 12kHz. Fortunately, Rusk Sound has 2 rooms, with 4 different sets of speakers. I started getting sounds on our custom Tom Hidley Far-Field speakers. They are fantastic. Then, I used our Equator Q10 Near-Field speakers for levels and balance and, of course, the trusty NS-10s, to check.'"
Produced by Marcus Singletary
Engineering and Mixing by Jill Tengan
at Rusk Studios, Hollywood, CA
Marcus Singletary - Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Syn Guitar, Vocals
Recorded at Zebonoj Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Anthony Cassucio
"Marcus Singletary is an American multi-instrumentalist who has released a number of albums his latest being Defiance Science which came out on May 7. On the album Singletary does everything himself playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, synths and vocals.The album tells the story of one Primrose Luckett, a scholar who goes to California to live the good life. You can pick up the rest from there. The story seems to be at odds with the album cover showing a beautiful gaseous nebula. That said, what about the music?I found this album difficult to categorize. Yes, it is rock but it is different somehow. Maybe it is the interesting use of synths and keyboards or because the individual tracks have such a different sound.The album begins with "Science", a melodic pop rock tune with a thick bass groove and upbeat sound. I like the shimmering keyboards and the bluesy guitar solo is very nice. With "Party Like A Star", Singletary delves into pop dance party grooves before turning in a more rock direction with intense lead guitar. "Shangri-Rock" has a breezy pop sound full of synths and melodic keyboards before the changing tempos add an element of complexity. A late '60s psychedelic sound can be heard on the mellow "In the Sand". I was reminded of the Hendrix classic "Little Wing". "Genovia" is a much heavier rocker with a ripping guitar solo while the somewhat quirky "Lookin' Good" gives off a Steely Dan vibe both vocally and rhythmically. In "Young Lady of Royalty" the processed vocals and dramatic shifts in tempo give this an interesting dynamic and the guitar solo is excellent. "Tomorrow, No" ends the disc with a little bit of rockabilly/country flare.Defiance Science is a diverse album with excellent musicianship, quite an accomplishment considering this is the work of one musician. Fans of rock music in general should definitely take note." -Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility