Sunday, 10 February 2013

#ESPspotlight Review: '7 Days, 7 Mixtapes To Set The Mood' Valentine's Special, 5: 'HAPPY 2 YEAR', MALICE & MARIO SWEET

If music be the food of love, then feed me a married couple making 'sweet' music about their blissful love. No really. They exist. They're called Malice and Mario Sweet and they celebrated their Valentine's Day by releasing a joint mixtape - to each other!

'Happy 2 Year' is my Day 5 choice not only because of the backstory of a couple so devoted that they would actually release a project like this and have it actually be good and not remotely annoying; or because I want to help them spread the word and raise much needed funds for their follow up project 'Enjoy: Like: Love' via Indiegogo (more about that later). It's because the conversational concept reminds me of one of my favourite 90s albums by a duo that I always assumed were in a relationship, but was never quite sure of...R&B Heads, do we remember 'Mars/Venus' by Koffee Brown?

Back to Mr and Mrs Sweet who intro with 'Happy 2 Year'. It's a grimy Hip Hop open that gives you the stinkface. You know that kind of dirty beat that makes you want to squoosh your face and go "urrrrrrgh!" As you bop your head, preferably with a gold grill? Yeah, not at all what you would expect. Love it.

'Speed of Light' is another left-field swerve that you instantly warm to. Fast-paced, energetic and full of the joys of electronic love; Mr and Mrs sweep you on their journey without choking you in their loved up fog. Everyone stays buckled in for this ride, leaving no singleton behind.

'Date Night' is like that first sip of the best cocktail you've ever had. You know that moment right when the flavour explodes on your tongue? This is where they hit what you would expect from a Soul mixtape paying tribute to one another, but the result is everything you're hoping it wouldn't be. At no point do you want to vom from the love overdose. Instead, you want a continuation. A win-win for the ladies from start to finish, with Malice's open talking about that date shoe game that every female can relate to, while Mario brings his Musiq Soulchild game and that my friends, will always be a winner with me.

"My turn, your turn, our turn, it's give and take..." The first solo offering is a personal pledge of love in a ode to continued commitment, which is probably why 'Malice' is titled after it's namesake. A genuinely 'Sweet' vibe.

'Love and Friendship' is SMOOTH. I don't think you understand; with the sexy french jazz twist on some funky, but laid back neosoul, this one tells a tale about spending time with your love. You can just picture the anniversary trip to Paris as they talk about spending quality time just enjoying each other. A real life glimpse into what most'ers are aspiring to - this is Love.

'Happiness featuring Choklate' is a nice little burst of early 00's R&B Dance. It actually sent me on a fruitless hunt for the late 90s/early 00s track it reminds me of throughout, the name and UK singers of which is plaguing my brain - suggestions in the box below if you hear it too, ease my mental torture please!

Back to the current and you're once again surprised at the high-energy in a mixtape that if you're honest, you're not expecting much from beyond a lovefest so mellow it's horizontal. Choklate adds a nice filling, ensuring this slice stays Sweet to the last bite (I remain forever unapologetic for every single one of those puns).

Next up it's the turn of Mr 'Mario' for his 1:56 of devotion to his Mrs. I do feel sorry for the pressure some of you fellas are put under by AllStars like this. You may want to start warming up those chords now...Grab a triangle if you can't croon...Something. Check out the visual that's embarrassing your plans for Milk Tray and roses on YouTube:

Practice Gentlemen, PRACTICE.

'Living Life featuring Geo (Blue Scholars)' is 80s electro-R&B and I love it. It makes me want to rock bright pleather, shoulder pads and jheri curl the life outta my hair til Pepsi endorse me. For what, I don't know, but it needs to be in neon lights. When Malice throws that little 'Control'-era Janet moment in there, it fully cements fandom for life. Every time. Get it Girl! Very nice sprinkling from Geo.

'Date Night (Remix)' is an extended mix of the earlier smoothness with extra vocals. The vibe between Malice and Mario really is love spilled over into song. Love it, love it, Love. It.

'Happiness (Bboy Mix) featuring Choklate' does exactly what it says on the tin - gives the track the early rap style treatment courtesy of  DJ BlesOne. Can't say I love the addition, it's the only one I could take or leave, so unless it's for betterment or fresh flavour, I'm never a fan of this type of remix. Sort of like Jagged Edge's 'Promise' remix or Mariah's 'The One' (both the fault of Jermaine Dupri) - you can't better perfection, so why bother trying?

This is such a sleek, beautiful project that overall, the last bump isn't enough to blemish this truly excellent body of work that almost two years old, leaves you antsy for the next.

On that topic, you may remember my mention of the couple's follow up at the start. 'Enjoy: Like: Love' is, according to the 'Sweets' Indiegogo campaign, en route to being complete, but they need a little help. Halfway to their funding goal to cover the rest of the recording process, visit their page before the Valentine's Day deadline if you feel like giving the lovers the gift of a little Sweet Love...

Did you catch the little announcement at the end? Are these two not just too cute for LIFE? Congratulations Mr and Mrs Sweet!

Download 'Happy 2 Year' from The Sweets bandcamp page now:

Then connect with the toothache two via their Social Media Catalogue:

Click to visit MFT and get 15% off your total order

And if the sweets from The Sweets have left you inspired and in the mood to shower with gifts of affection, don't forget that you have 4 days left to take advantage of my special Brand Ambassador Code. Make someone feel lovely!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for my Day 4 selection, I've got goodies planned for you all the way up to the big day, with the bonus of a little something special for the ladies this Thursday...Let me know if you're liking the selections - comments in the usual place (box below)!

Until tomorrow...
ES ;)