Genre/Influences: Cinematographic, electro, wave-pop, experimental.
Format: Digital, 2CD.
Background/Info: After his last year released album “13 Ghost Stories” Jean-Marc Lederman strikes back with a somewhat similar concept album. He asked an impressive number of guest singers to write lyrics about the theme ‘letters to gods and fallen angels’. The ‘old’ Weathermen protagonist took care of the music composition and he also wrote a few lyrical parts. The double CD features twenty four songs while twenty two singers contributed to the album plus Jo Quail playing cello on one song.
Content: This album is quite diversified, mixing very different genres. Jean-Marc Lederman transforms himself into a sonic chameleon who now moved back to the 80s and next experimenting pure soundtrack music. But I also noticed a song with a jazzy-like atmosphere while others are more into a kind of dreamy pop music. I also noticed some electronic minimalism and even a very personal cover version of Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms”.
The real tour de force is the impressive list of singers featuring names such as Tom Shear, Mark Hockings, Rodney Orpheus, Elena Alice Fossi, Frank M. Spinath, Stefan Netschio, Claus Larsen, Mari Kattman ao. Most of the singers also wrote the lyrics for their song.
+ + + : I like conceptual albums, but I have to admit, this one by Jean-Marc Lederman is a true original idea. He once again brought an impressive number of great names together, and also a few unknown names. The album sounds as a compilation, but it first of all reveals a musician who feels comfortable dealing with very different music genres. I noticed several jazzy-driven cuts, but also cool ‘film-noir’ compositions. It’s hard to give a favorite song, but I’ll go for “Heaven” featuring Scottish artist Lucia Fairfull on vocals. It’s also quite surprising to hear Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) singing on “Answer Me” in a different way we’re used to hearing from this artist. By the way, this song could be the perfect EP-title track. The very personal interpretation of Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms” sung by American singer Jenna Fearon is also worthy of examination for its intimate mood.
– – – : If there’s one single point you can discuss about is the feeling you might be listening to a compilation.
Conclusion: This album even touches me deeper than “13 Ghost Stories”; it’s not an album with ‘hits’, but simply a genius concept featuring a great and renowned musician joined by a great selection of singers. Respect for this work Mr. Lederman!
Best songs: “Letter from Lucia Fairfull: Heaven”, “Letter from Tom Shear: Answer Me”, “Letter From Mark Hockings: Don’t Collect Me”, “Letter from Emma Barson: Under A Glass Sky”, “Letter from Rodney Orpheus: Sophisiticated Evening”.
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