France is well known for producing some of the world’s best pop music. We now have the pleasure to experience the pop creations from Saint Amour, a one-man-band from Paris who is promoting a DIY musical production process, while avoiding jeopardizing quality and the overall creation process in his methods. Songs for those who did not lose their brains in the computer age is recorded completely at the musician’s home with guitars, bass, keyboards and a computer.
The opening track on the album “Dear Lady Adelaide” gives us a mellow welcoming into the world that is Saint Amour. Experiencing the sweet sound of the vocalist’s smooth yet sharply tuned voice is quite pleasant. Throughout the song we hear his voice rise and fall and sing about “my dear lady.” There are simple keyboards, guitars and percussion that inconspicuously keep the song rolling lovingly along and towards the end the song becomes more infectious and rising into a passionate ballad of love and complete adoration.
The second track on the album “My Own Svengali” has a very pleasant character to it that just makes me want to frolic about in a field of daisies and wave my arms up toward the heavens. The repetition of “Shalala shalala” makes this song so peaceful and a bit communal, a song for everyone to listen to. “Through the looking glass, a pair of swirling eyes… I’m not the one in control anymore, hands on my brains,” this song takes on a elaborate and sophisticated story wrapped around the definition of a Svengali; a person who manipulates or exerts excessive control over another; “hypnotize me, mesmerize me.”
While listening to Saint Amour’s album I am reminded of contemporary bands like Built to Spill and The Shins, yet there is a classic pop style to the songs that reminds me of pop bands from the late 80’s and this may be an allusion to the title of the album. There is a natural playfulness to all the songs yet they are refined and carry a deep current filled with allusions, metaphors and conscious storytelling. This is a great listening album for anyone into mellow alternative pop music.
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