Marlon Williams has come into his own and he's about to break a lot of hearts with his new album.

While his self-titled debut felt like Williams was just flexing his muscles with different sounds and elements of the genre, Make Way for Love is a far more personal and, at times, uncomfortably raw offering.

It still leads in with the Williams you know and love, starting out in a summer haze with upbeat surf-rock vibes, but then it descends into heartache with such fluidity you barely know it's happening until you're sitting at your desk willing yourself not to cry.

This is the album Williams poured his heart out to make during the month following his break up with fellow Kiwi star Aldous Harding at the end of 2016, and you can feel it all.


What's great about it is that while in pop and hip hop everyone's throwing up a middle finger to love and getting over someone by getting under someone else, Williams is painfully raw and honest, capturing the bittersweet nature of love and the truly terrible nature of heartbreak.

The sound is cinematic and reverb-heavy, dancing between 50's doo-wop and Smiths-like melancholy. And lyrically, Williams hits home with his ability to turn a memorable phrase with ease.

On the piano-driven Love Is A Terrible Thing he croons: "People tell me/Boy, you dodged a bullet/But if only it had hit me/Then I'd know the peace it brings."

He admits "I didn't make a plan to break your heart/But it was the sweetest thing I'd ever done".

And the hardest-hitting track is surely Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore on which Aldous Harding herself features for a mournful duet about love lost.

The hardest part about it is that nothing really went wrong and these artists are just faced with the reality that sometimes, that's just the way love goes as they sing, "There is no blame/There is no shame...Nobody gets what they want anymore".

And Williams' lament - "What am I gonna do when you're in trouble/And you don't call out for me?" - is truly tear-jerking.

This is an album full of loss, memories, jealousy, regret, guilt, anger, joy and hope and is surely a look into what that post-breakup month must have felt like for Williams.

It's sonically beautiful and lyrically affecting, with just enough of an exploration into the lighter side to keep it from going over the top in its misery.

Marlon Williams, Make Way for Love

Artist: Marlon Williams
Album: Make Way for Love
Label: Caroline/Universal Music NZ
Verdict: A beautiful, honest breakup album from an old soul