Marvin Gaye is one of the few musicians who has had a fundamental impact on the way Soul and Motown has developed from a hit single based model to the artistic more album- based freedom that we expect today.
Gaye’s defiant manner over the control of What’s Going On not only paved the way for musicians to follow suit, but also ascended him to a podium from where hecould announce his distaste of the everyday injustices prevalent in American society, especially the Vietnam War, which he drew from his brother’s experiences.
Musically, one could call the record flawless. A much further developed album than That’s the Way Love is; his increased control over the subtle vocal rhythmic changes creates an almost R&B operatic atmosphere with beautiful layers of instrumentation from The Funk Brothers to the swing of the full Orchestra.
What’s Goin On is simply a masterpiece of soulful, dream-like rhythm and blues and bass- driven funk, able to convey ideas just as relevant today as they were in 1971, with the sound becoming ever more revered.