Reviews I May Have Missed - June (pt. 2)
I told you there would be a part two to all the CDs I missed reviewing in June.
Glen Hansard – ‘Rhythm and Repose’
Glen Hansard is one half of the duo that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song a few years ago for the song “Falling Slowly” from the movie ‘Once’ (the other half was Markéta Irglová). He is also in (or was in) the bands The Swell Season and The Frames. Well, now he has finally made solo album; no pseudonym, no band, just him. And. It’s. Great.
There is nothing on ‘Rhythm and Repose’ that surprises me, but that is almost exactly what I wanted. Hansard is so talented and so beloved by his fans, why would he want to change a thing? I am all for artists mixing things up, but I am happy to see that for his first album out on his own, Glen stuck to what he is best at and what he knows works. His sound is one step above a guy with a guitar, but one below a whole band. Everything is calm, quiet, understated. Every song has something different from the last, and yet nothing sounds even slightly out of place.
‘Rhythm and Repose’ is beautiful, and I say a job well done.
Listen to: every song, but if only a few, try “Maybe Not Tonight”, “Talking With The Wolves” and “Bird of Sorrow”
Hervé – ‘Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down’
Hervé goes by many names. Hervé is his only solo work name; his real name is Joshua Harvey, and he is best known as The Count from UK production duo The Count and Sinden. He has struck out on his own again for another solo album, this one with a more fun title (the last one was called ‘Ghetto Bass’. Blech.).
‘Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down’ plays like a sampling of everything that is (or could be) happening in electronic music these days. Bits of high buzzing mixed with typical synth-laden dance pop mashed up with dubstep and Skrillex-esque odd vocal samples…and then so much more! Usually I would say that an album with so much going on is a mess, but you can just tell that The Count…I’m sorry, Hervé…was going for just that. This album doesn’t sound like it is meant to be played on radio (one or two songs perhaps), but rather that DJs and producers around the world will snap it up and hide it from everyone else, gathering loads of inspiration from its innumerable ideas and directions.
Parts sound like Benny Benassi (“Gnarly” is almost too close for comfort), others like Calvin Harris (“Better Than a BMX”), but then there are songs that sound like nothing I’ve ever heard before. The Count and Sinden have always been known for pushing music into strange and excellent new places, and Hervé seems to find a way to do that even more.
Listen to: “Gloomin”, “Better Than a BMX”, “Gnarly”, and “How Can I Live Without You (Make It Right) (ft. Ronika)”