It’s Thursday night in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2016. I’m stepping over my luggage that I’ve yet to unpack as I anxiously prepare my attire for the evening. Once I’ve assembled the right look complete with the right hat, I can’t help but feel as if something is missing. My television is playing in the background but it’s on a channel that’s all in Spanish and I’m paying it no attention. Since it was the beginning of my vacation and so much excitement awaited me, I realized what’s wrong. I don’t have my theme music playing.
You know the music we all play as we magically transform from our everyday persona to our going out to get lit version of ourselves. As I proceed to turn on my vacation playlist (yes I make them), to my surprise none other than the sounds Groove Tonight by Martone begins to waft throughout my hotel room. I close my eyes as I let the beat take a hold of me. It’s almost as if it’s being injected into my veins providing me with immediate relief from everything not essential to my current relaxed state of mind. I smile, give my beard a once over in the mirror, and say to myself, let the vacation officially begin! Martone has indelibly created a feeling that I needed to set the tone and mood for the evening.
The Evolution of Martone (Deluxe Edition) is without a doubt a feeling. It is also an experience. To be more precise, it’s the sweetest of 16 collections of infectious grooves by the Dallas resident and singer. As the introduction to the album begins to play, you hear Martone detail the many creative hats he’s worn throughout his career. As he speaks, you feel as if you need to close your eyes and listen intently. You also realize you’re about to experience what feels like the sexiest guided meditation ever. You become lost, almost hypnotized as music begins to take over. His voice is strong yet seductive, and you get the sense you’re about to go on journey to discover when passion calls, Martone answers.
“The Extreme’s late night Remix (available also with a third 7’ inch version) however demands a higher version of yourself, one that will have you willingly showing him some love in the club while shaking your ass to an eclectic sound compelling you to move.”
The entire body of work on #TEOM speaks to the duality of emotions we as music lovers often experience. Sometimes you want to hear a song that moves you, and other times the occasion or mood, just like life itself, requires a remix. #TEOM does just that. Several of the tracks including, Chocolate (Spoken Word Mix), Office Politics, Love You I Do Auoo, and my personal anthem Groove Tonight, all have what feels like an alternate universe remix in the latter part of the album that is nothing short of feeling cosmic.
Take a Listen to Groove Tonight:
The sultry tone of This Love is clearly the moment you enter the club or make your entrance known into any room for that matter. Martone playfully teases over the track with saying, “anything you desire, I’m gonna take you higher” and that he does. It’s a hypnotic, rhythmic glaze that grants you permission to succumb to the point of vulnerability. That’s perfect for stepping into the introspective interlude Vulnerable which feels reminiscent of Janet Jackson’s infamous sexy interludes that often leads you wanting more. Vulnerable leaves you with that same feeling.
While listening to Groove Tonight, you can’t help but wonder if Martone was intentional in making you enjoy the song in layers. The first being your initial turn up prep song with the original version, the Extreme’s late night Remix (available also with a third 7’ inch version) however demands a higher version of yourself, one that will have you willingly showing him some love in the club while shaking your ass to an eclectic sound compelling you to move.
“Martone wants you to think, feel, and move in the right direction, his direction!”
Love You I Do balances out the album with an ode to love and to lift us up. It’s a mid tempo melodic track perfect for those summer late night drives. The alternative DJ Suspence remix, is a musical collage of sounds and rhythms that sensually shifts your mood in sync with the melody changes that I’m convinced, was created to take you on a ride.
Of course Martone cannot leave well enough alone. He has to take us higher with Love You I Do Auoo (original version and Extreme’s Deep Love Remix). Even with the amped up beat via the remix, this track offers you the option to chill while you sip on your drink and engage in some deep conversation with friends. This is all while tapping your foot and a adding a little shoulder and head bopping action to boot.
As some of the original tracks were featured on Martone’s 2015 release of #TEOM, the Deluxe edition provides remixes by some serious House heavyweights in the music game by the name of DJ Extreme Detroit, DJ Suspence, and Duce. Is it possible to include so much individual talent, and provide listeners with a fresh, euphoric, and sometimes-nostalgic house trip to musical heaven? The answer is yes! Martone and his talented contributors find a way to marry quality, emotion, passion, and defiance in bass ridden tracks not meant for those holding up the wall at nightclubs. Martone wants you to think, feel, and move in the right direction, his direction! As rapper Rakim once said, follow the leader!
“There is not a better way to honor 49 deserving souls who lost their lives and many others wounded, than pushing for support for victims of gun violence and tougher legislation for gun control.”
Martone’s passion doesn’t just embody the spirit of love and the desire to create music to make you move. It also speaks to the trials and tribulations of what so many of us experience daily, Office Politics. It’s also the name of a track on #TEOM with three versions, the original single and the Extreme’s Two Weeks Notice Remix & Underground Mix.
This single unapologetically touches on being frustrated by doing what is expected of you rather than pursuing your dreams. In Martone’s own words, he confidently declares that he’s “living out his passion, and it’s gonna happen this time! Words many of us have uttered while brewing coffee on a rainy Monday morning as we prepare to hop on the proverbial Ferris wheel of life. We get invited inside the world of Martone and begin to understand at least one of the factors that motivate him to be the creative soul displayed throughout the album.
It’s also that invitation that allows listeners and fans to see his passion extend to the selfless act of giving back. Like many of us, Martone was horrified and saddened by the senseless act of violence against members of the LGBT (and ally) community on June of 2016 at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. There is not a better way to honor 49 deserving souls who lost their lives and many others wounded, than pushing for support for victims of gun violence and tougher legislation for gun control. In addition to hearing great music on the album, every listen on Spotify, Apple music and Google Play, will assist victims by donating 10% of all proceeds from the streaming and purchases of The Evolution Of Martone.
As the summer approaches and Martone’s newest single F*ck Me Baby is receiving love all over clubs and social media, I’m more than ready for a summer getaway. His music has become a part of the soundtrack to my life and I’m convinced we can all be inspired by his message of love, passion, and making your dreams come true. We can also learn from his giving heart, creativity, and know for sure, this is Martone, and this is his evolution!