Published Sep 06, 2019Toronto vocalist Mark Clennon's approach to R&B is rooted in his Jamaican background. The result is a vibe that's acutely self-aware, carefully constructed and deftly weaves in a worldly range of pop, soul, dancehall and electro. Produced by Joey Sherrett and duo Rainer + Grimm — known for their work with the Weeknd — Passion lives up to its title.
"Part of Your World" reflects this cosmopolitan approach — it's an urgent track that revels in its negative spaces, buttressed by primal percussion and a future-minded vocal flow. "Tonight" captures the inherent dark magic of the night, evoking a love that threatens to flame out and lovers making the most of its intensity while it lasts. "Don't Let Me Down" offers introspection and absolution amid pop, soul and notes of patois. "Not Perfect" offers a glimpse of Clennon's potential; it's a commercially minded slice of soul-pop featuring Clennon transmitting soulful vulnerability while capably riding and guiding the rhythm — "I'm not perfect/But I'm perfect for you."
Passion makes a good impression, offering enough to get a sense of what Clennon is about, but at four tracks, not enough to fully grasp where he's coming from. That's likely intentional and a promise that perhaps the best is yet to come. (Bonsound)