Coming off his 2016 concept album The Story of Fred Short, Marco Benevento offers a slightly more straightforward if no less inventive pop effort, Let It Slide. Produced with Leon Fields & the Expressions' bandmember Leon Michels (who has also worked on such disparate recording projects as Norah Jones, Lady Wray, and his own El Michels Affair), Let It Slide finds Benevento offering songs that straddle the lines between arty indie pop, '70s soft rock, and psychedelic soul. A Berklee College of Music grad with a jazz and creative music background, Benevento has a knack for balancing memorable chorus hooks with a tactile, deeply textured, and analog-brand of instrumentation. He and Michels clearly share a love of old-school rock, soul, R&B, and sundry other vinyl-era aesthetics. Together they bring all of these evocative sounds to bear on Let It Slide. Many of these songs feature fuzzy dub-style basslines pushed forward in the mix, ringing electric guitar lines, refracted analog drum grooves, and a slurry of vintage-sounding organs and keyboards. Tracks like "Solid Gold," "Baby Don't Make Me Want," and "Say It's All the Same," are buoyant anthems recorded with a lo-fi, roomy aesthetic that brings to mind '90s Beck. Elsewhere, "Lorraine" evokes the dreamy, singer/songwriter style of Todd Rundgren. There are also a handful of instrumental tracks here, including the three "Gaffiano" interludes that sound like outtakes from a '70s Italian horror movie soundtrack. Similarly, cuts like "Oh Baby Can't You See" and "Nature's Change," with its extended organ solo, sound like unearthed psych rock classics.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar