I've listened to this album throughout a few times and whilst I think it's pretty good I don't quite think it's as musically engaging as some in terms of the quality of the melodies on offer. It offers very good musicianship in its structure but it's lacking in tunes a bit for my tastes.
Compare it to say zero 7's simple things album which came out in 2001, a year before, and this zero 7 album not only has the similar quality of instrumentation and how the tracks are put together, but melodies are better too. I think this cinematic orchestra album is as close in style with this zero 7 sound in terms of the bass line, electronic pianos and jazz wind instruments, plus a vocal on top. If only maybe zero 7 is a bit more 'samey'
But then something like zero 7 is a bit more commercial so its maybe someone's preference to have less 'tune' and more original 'sound', if that makes sense. Every album has a place and this is great for putting on and chilling out and reading a book, whereby you maybe don't need the mental busyness that melodies sometimes might bring in music.
But some thievery corporation albums and albums from bonobo (e.g. Animal magic, which also came out in 2001) beat it for me, with similar jazz esque inspired lazy down and mid tempo electronica. Listening to something like the track 'futures' on zero 7s album 'the garden' and you get this jazz sound and a hugely pleasing melody. Or 'the plug' of bonobos animal magic, too. Or mixing it up a bit more try 'hushed' on hidden orchestras album called archipelago. It brings the same instruments but you get a melody you just want to play again. The same deep bass line with lovely clarinets. A lovely piece of music, if a bit melancholic. I'd maybe add some groove armada into the mix too, in this category.
But i did like the way this cinematic orchestra album infused lots of different instruments and sounds into a relaxed downtempo composition on some tracks, particularly the track 'burn out'. On others it went more mid tempo and a bit faster to change the pace a bit. I like the track 'evolution' which came closest to getting a really good melody out, with the way the song is split into two components parts.
So it's definetely not on a level of a massive attack blue lines or protection 10/10, or a underworld dubnobasswithmyheadman 10/10, as far as electronic albums go. But I'd definetely buy it and I'd give it 7/10 for its relaxed sound if short of melodies a bit I thought.
Speakers : PMC Twenty5 23's
Cyrus Gear : DAC XP Signature / PSX-R, Mono X200 Signatures, Stream X Signature, CD-T transport
Chord Cables : Signature Tuned Array XLR, Epic Reference Speaker Cable, Anthem tuned array and Clearway digital coaxial
Location: London, UK
Excellent album and scored 9/10 although I think Ma Fleur is better. New album due out this year which I am keen to hear.
Thank you Paul and Simon for listening And liking the album.
If you like this try
Motion (also known as In Motion)
As good as Every day
Remixes 1998-2000 also worth a listen
Technics 1210, MCRU Linear PSU, Mike New Bearing & Platter, Stillpoints LP1 weight, Speedy Steve Ebony armboard, Fidelity Research FR64FX arm, Ortofon SPU. LP12/Aro/Lyra Dorian, Aurorasound VIDA Phono Pre Amp, Ortofon ST80SE SUT, Rega Isis CD, Marigo Signature 3D mat, Belles VT-01 MK II Pre Amp, Belles MB200 Mono Power Amps, TAD E1 speakers. Creaktiv racks, Mains Cables: Coherent, MCRU Ultimate, Interconnects : Coherent and Yannis 223.5 Connect Litz, TQ. Coherent speaker cable. PS Audio P10 regenerator. Coherent socket