Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dead Ringer



Marc Martel has just released a new album and is presently on tour with music from the album entitled, wait for it, Impersonator. Yes, the former Freddie Mercury impersonator has something to say and he says it well. Using just his surname for this new band, he has given us twelve songs about being an Impersonator, a Dead Ringer, a Ringo Starr and several more themes. His wife thinks that he may have too many identity crisis songs on the album but he assures reporters that this is a good portion of what is happening right now.Some would say he has something to prove; that he is just another Freddie Mercury sound alike; that he is only a cover band king; that he doesn’t have his own sound; that Freddie’s memory should be left alone.

Those of us who know Martel’s music from his previous days as the lead singer and creative genius behind the band downhere have a different story. He has already proved who he is, what he sounds like, and that he is so much more than a really good “Wedding Singer.” Albums like Ending is Beginning and songs like “How Many Kings” and “Coming Back Home” were played to church youth groups and on radio stations across Canada and the USA long before he became a singer for one of the most famous bands in the world. Downhere received five Juno Awards over a ten year span and attracted a solid following of fans.

In “Dead Ringer,” Martel sings about “the face he was given when he was born” and “the sound he makes when he opens his mouth.” With great irony, “Dead Ringer” argues that he just happens to sound and look like Freddie Mercury and that he is just trying to be himself. This is the argument he sings even as he crafts and performs a song designed to mimic the lead vocals and style of Queen to a tee. Here are the lyrics and a link to the audio.

Dead Ringer (listen to it here)

Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I know you’ve seen this face before
It’s just the one they gave me when I was born
I’m not puttin’ it on make no mistake
When I open my mouth that’s the sound I make

It’s on the tip of your tongue
Gives you chills just to think about it
Though you say nothing new would get that sound
But let me tell you that that I beat you to it

Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I just try to be myself
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
Cause I can’t be no one else
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I've got to be myself
Lord let me be myself

Bought yourself a ticket to the County Zoo
Be careful what you say cause it could happen to you
Finger in a socket and a double take
Pick your jaw off the floor; give your heads a shake

I’m on the tip of your tongue
Gives you chills just to think about it
Oh you say nothing new under the sun
Let me show you that there’s nothin’ to it

Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I try to be myself
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
Cause I can’t be no one else
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I got to be myself
Lord let me be myself

Just like that

Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer

Anyone ever tell you you’re a

Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I just try to be myself
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
Cause I can’t be no one else
Dead ringer, dead ringer, dead ringer, dead
I got to be myself
Lord let me be myself
“Dead Ringer” is the quintessential personal identity song that works so well for Marc Martel. There are other songs on the album that are less personal and just as good. Take for example “Paradise.” It is a bluesy, rocky, electronic anthem about a world that “chews us up, spits us out, and leaves us locked up in paradise.” A song worthy of many accolades but perhaps it is enough to simply say, poetic and operatic.

The recording closes with a song that sounds more downhere than Queen; and more Marc than Freddie. “The Remake” is about how we can have “high hope” in the way in which God will do his remake and make all things new. The metaphor calls us to something higher and reminds us that there is more to life than just what we see.

So is the new Martel music deserving of a wide audience? Check it out for yourself. I would suggest buying the recording and singing along. Perhaps you too can find your own voice.
 


1 http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/09/03/marc-martel-paradise-premiere/14996237/

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