Peace, love and good 'ole fashioned indie rock are the dominant vibes radiating from Bhopal's Flowers latest album Lovesongs & Psychedelic Tones. No false advertising in that album title, this album is a fresh remix of the glorious psych rock era of decades past. Bhopal's Flowers was a project born in France in 2012 that made a splash in east France and has now migrated across the Atlantic to Montreal. This album does come with a philosophy behind it. If you care to dig you'll want to look in Anthrposophy which is an introspective and natural approach to well being established by Rudolf Steiner around the start of the 20th century. Considering the heightened level of conflict going around these days, I openly welcomed this reflective and brilliantly glowing album with open arms. Let's dig into this lovely freedom fest.
The music combines the free flowing instrumental layers of the past with the crisp finish of today's indie rock present. There is some truly incredible guitar work here and overall a very good taste of instrument and sample selection. While the freedom and love movement is there, it's been hosed off and given a brighter neon glow with carefully placed modern updates. There are moments where they hit their influence a little too much on the head and it comes off as dated and a little on the cheesy side, but it didn't happen nearly enough for me to be turned off. It's not all la la land in these songs; sometimes it can be a little haunting or just downright out there. One of the staples for music like this that I believe to be essential is that the listener is taken on a legitimate journey, and this album nails that. Expert tonal shifts that are so subtle you don't know what's happening until you're neck deep in it are all over these songs.
The music is fluid and likes to keep its head above heavy but the lyrics are loaded. One of the benefits of the modern touch to this music is that the lyrics are pushed up front and a little succinct than the music of this genre in the past. These words are not an afterthought and they are not hidden away like riddles or puzzles. The words are out front and full of metaphysical metaphors and poetic declarations of philosophy and life lessons. As with the music, there are lots of tonal shifts, but I would say they are a bit more rough and jarring and I like it. The lyrics are definitely pointed at times, but always with an intent of tough love, as if to rescue you from yourself and wake you up so you can properly do battle with reality.
Lovesongs & Psychedelic Tones is a full bodied fourteen tracks that I thoroughly enjoyed. I sense a lot of passion and a sort of urgency to do this album right and get the message out. For any of our readers looking for something in the psych rock department that seeks to evolve the genre, I strongly recommend giving this a listen.
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