Thursday, August 27, 2015

Coeur de Pirate: "Roses" (album review)

Under the moniker Coeur de Pirate, Beatrice Martin has created some of the most interesting pop music of recent years.  And she's done it with equal aplomb in both official languages.

This week she returns with her latest studio album of original material, Roses.

This time around Martin performs the majority of her songs in English.  However, even though I have little clue as to what she's singing about, the French songs tend to be the stronger ones.

An orchestral sets the mood for "Tu oubliras mon nom".   The same helps make "Drapeau blanc" transform into a beautifully mesmerizing number.  On the flip side, "Crier tout bas" may be the darkest track on the record.

A notable exception is the case of the album's bookends, "Carry On" and it's French counterpart "Oublie-Moi".  Lush touches adorn some pretty angular percussion, with Martin's vocals sweeping you away on top of everything.

It's Martin's typically captivating vocals that lead the way on these songs.  Be it something melodic like "Undone" or smoldering like the swelling "Oceans Brawl" or introspective like "Cast Away", it the voice that is most memorable.

A stylish cinematic vibe hovers over the sultry "Our Love", a track that makes one think that Coeur de Pirate would make a fantastic choice to perform a future James Bond theme song.

The biggest faux pas is the track "I Don't Want To Break Your Heart".  It was an innocuous tune until rapper Allan Kingdom dropped his awkward contribution to the mix.  The result is an unfortunate mess.

Another strong effort from one of Canada's most unique voices.

Coeur de Pirate plays The Phoenix in Toronto on October 7th.

Best tracks: "Carry On", "Ocean Brawl"

Track listing for Roses:

  • Carry On
  • Crier tout bas
  • I Don't Want To Break Your Heart
  • Drapeau blanc
  • Undone
  • Oceans Brawl
  • Our Love
  • Cast Away
  • Tu oubliras mon nom
  • The Way Back Home
  • Oublie-moi (Carry On)

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