Singer Marc Dorsey had already made a name for himself by appearing on soundtracks to the Spike Lee movies Crooklyn and Clockers before releasing his solo debut, Crave. Marc’s debut was released on August 10, 1999, and led by the single “If You Really Wanna Know.” An up-tempo number produced by hit maker Manuel Seal, the song is reminiscent of the time. It will remind listeners of Usher’s 1997 hit, “U Make Me Wanna.”
However, Marc’s second single, “Crave,” is the one most folks will remember the singer for. Initially appearing on the soundtrack to late nineties classic, The Wood, Crave is a standard missing your lover track, highlighted by Dorsey’s smooth vocal. I remember moving to El Paso in the summer of 1999, and The Wood soundtrack was one of the first CDs I purchased. When I saw the movie and heard the song played towards the end of the film, it was used significantly.
The third single from Crave was a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do.” The arrangement where Marc speeds up the tempo allows the singer to make the song his own, but Stevie purists may not like it. The rest of the CD is a mixture of standard nineties R&B themes. The mid-tempo “Break It Down” is an ode to side pieces, while “Tell Your Man (He’s Gotta Go)” is the mister still your girl anthem.
“All The Way” is for the bedroom, while “Can You Ever Love Somebody” gives Marc a chance to show off his gospel roots. Dorsey also finds time to make a message song with “In the Ghetto” that sadly comes off as filler. Thankfully Dorsey gets his mojo back on his cover of The Human Body’s “As We Lay.” Later popularized by the iconic Shirley Murdock, “As We Lay” is a hard song for any male singer to sing, mainly after Mrs. Murdock put her stamp on it. Dorsey, however, makes the song his own and does a decent job. I do feel that Dorsey should’ve arranged the music more similar to The Human’s Body version.
Dorsey closes out his debut with the ballad “Love You Again,” which has borderline country vibes. “Crave” isn’t a bad album, and Dorsey does have a solid voice. Sadly the material just isn’t strong enough for his voice, which may explain why he got lost in the shuffle of late nineties R&B singers. Three years later, Dorsey would appear on LL Cool J’s hit “Luv U Better” and Jay-Z’s “A Ballad for the Fallen Soldier.”
Both songs were produced by The Neptunes, so maybe Dorsey found his passion as a session singer. Despite the safe material, Marc Dorsey deserved more of a chance to highlight his singing voice with more substantial material.
Final Grade C+
Top Songs: “If You Really Wanna Know,” “Crave,” and “All I Do”
Crave is available on all streaming platforms.