Le Concorde's second studio effort Suite, produced
by Scritti Politti's David Gamson, is fundamentally
chamber pop in its most enjoyable form. Academic-wise, the music has
sophisticated harmonies which are admirable for quilting dulcetly
fluted textures. Formed by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Stephen Becker, Le Concorde is his music project and materializes
into his likeness. Live, the band includes Matt Espy on drums,
Casey Gibbs and Scott Foust on synths, Alison Hinderliter
on piano, and Brian Stout on bass and additional vocals.
The album opens with a springy pop melody "I Want You Back",
adorned by shimmering splayed tones and charming harmonica phrases
performed by Becker which carries similarities to solo artist Mike
Doughty. "Break You Like A Promise" is a reflective
tune with dotted synth patterns and dainty rhythms fastened to meaningful
lyrics like "I don't want to break you like a promise/ My history's
got a few atrocities like that." The labyrinth formed by the
synth passages on "April Wine" creates a chamber pop heaven
of placid hues and fluffy rhythmic knolls. The duet "International
Flight" with singer Ken Stringfellow harvests melodic
pop sensations flanked by sequin build ups and break downs which are
diligently transitioned and finely sculpted comparably to Jeremy
Camp. "All Time Fragile Unions" rings like a pop opera
with gently flumed verses and big choruses. The final track "Lullaby
For Dollface" is a softly strummed ballad with delicate vocals
and hushed instrumentation producing an elegant lull.
Le Concorde's second release Suite, following the album
Universe And Villa from 2004, is a fabulous addition to the pop
spectrum. The album's chamber pop facets, harmonious hues, and sonic
escapes are admirable and artistically plied. Becker and Gamson's
obsession for melodic details is impressive and gives the lyrics the
bleeding soul meaning which they seek. The songs express inner deconstruction
and reconciliation in a positive light.
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