Reviewed by Robyn: New Records from Richard Reed Parry and La Roux
Without knowing the concept behind Richard Reed Parry’s new record, a listen can tell that these compositions are meant to be alive. From the palpations of the instruments to the audible breathing in these songs the thesis of this album is completely evident: music is alive within us and instruments are an extension of the musician.
The album is called “Music for Heart and Breath” and it is the first step into the world of solo composing for Parry. Better known for his work in his indie rock band Arcade Fire, the same kind of whimsy is felt in the songs of this other album. The tracks are artfully composed, and the instruments are played very well by some all-star artists.
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There are different moods felt in each song, possibly due to the unique way that these tracks were constructed. The musicians each play their instruments either to the beat of their hearts, the pace of their breaths or the breaths of a companion. The composition style is unique and shows a lot of talent from the first-time composer.
To create the unique album, Parry used stethoscopes to capture the heart beats of the musicians. They would listen to their own heart beats and use it as the metronome of the music. It creates a very interesting style of music that ranges from exciting and upbeat to mellow and relaxing.
The album is very strong and I give it a B+ for the high quality music and the interesting thesis of the record.
Every indie pop lover has been waiting for La Roux to reemerge with a new album, and her new record is fulfilling in almost every way it can be. The record has a disco-pop sound and is filled with the usual love-centred lyrics that are brought to life by the beautiful yet interesting voice of La Roux. The album “Trouble in Paradise” has been greedily accepted by fans for its short but groovy tracklist.
With only a quick listen it is easy to understand what attracts both new and old fans to the album: it is easy on the ears and definitely danceable. Known for her dance-worthiness, La Roux is not disappointing anyone in this respect. Each sound is artfully produced with a sound that progresses throughout the record. With certain tracks feeling very retro and having a true disco vibe to them and others being slightly more rastafarian, the music is passes over a range of sounds.
All of the songs are clearly built around the same theme of sex and love, which make them easy to relate to. What is important and well done by La Roux is the genuine feel to her vocals on the record. In the track “Tropical Chancer” it definitely feels like the singer knows firsthand exactly what trouble in paradise means.
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Though well done, the album is very short – it only has nine tracks. There is variety on the album, but there are a few songs that flow a bit too seamlessly for my liking: the first two songs feel as if they were one idea that split. Despite this, the album is still satisfying for La Roux and indie pop fans alike.
It is a good album and very short despite a long enough waiting period, thus I give the album a B. It is catchy and the vocals are amazing although some tracks bare too much similarity for such a short record.