Blonde, Beatrice Martin’s second album, is everything I hoped it would be. And more. I’m her slave, forever. Can’t talk right now, must listen.
UPDATE: Here’s my track-by-track review. Blonde, by the way, refers to Beatrice’s hair-colour, to misconceptions about blondes, and to being a girlfriend (blonde means girlfriend in French) or ‘the other half’.
Lève tes voiles. Sounds like a christmas carol, sung by a children’s choir. They sing something like: ‘sail, white boats, look for new ways.’
Adieu: The fantastic single, with it’s Bo Diddley-like beat, Béatrice says goodbye to her lover. Saying goodbye, evaluating relationships, that’s a recurring theme on this album.
Danse et danse: Yé-yé pop is a big musical influence, this is a dramatic (with jabs of strings, harmonica, fuzzy guitars) pop song, it sounds like a twist on Gainsbourgs La javanaise-theme (lovers for one night, one song): ‘Tu dis que ‘I’m your only one’. C’est ça, prends moi pour une conne’.
Golden baby: Organ, strings, up-tempo beat, great piano-melodies. If you liked Comme des Enfants, you’ll love this one. Lyric-wise, this could be about Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash (and Armistice).
Ava: It doesn’t get more retro than this. Boom-clack-a-boom. First time brass-demigod Colin Stetson appears on this album, with some honkin’ saxes. Great song.
Loin d’ici: Again, very retro, with a country-twist. Slide-guitars galore, in fact. Think Armistice, no, think Loretty Lynn. Sam Roberts is her duet partner, he has a the right ‘sob’ in his voice. Excellent track.
Les amours dévouées: Mariachi’d up country. LOVE the production on this. Sweeping violins, you can easily picture this as the title track of a Morricone-like western. Lots of drama in the lyrics.
Place de la République: Best song on the album? Béatrice and her piano, singing about a fling, that meant more than she expected it would. Marvellous string-arrangement. B’s only 22. And she wrote this. And more. Colin Stetson again on brass. Longest track on the album (a little over 4 minutes, most tracks are about 2.30 minutes long)
Cap diamant: Just piano and voice. Simply beautiful. ‘Ne me laisse plus ici, ne me laisse plus cette fois’
Verseau: Love this, ye-ye-ye. A song about (an) Aquarius. I guess you know who you are.
Saint-Laurent: Written together with Malinowski. Very sixties, with bells, lap-steel and organ. Song about a girl waiting for her king, who’s adored by several girls.
La petite mort: String-intro, then B. and her piano. Gorgeous waltz. We all know what le petite mort is, right? Again, I picture this in a movie. Beatrice sounds very, very fragile in this song. Should’ve been the last track on the album.
Hôtel Amour: Colin Stetson plays cornet on this track. ‘Les murs me disent que te quitteras cette fois’, Beatrice sings. A song in the vein of Armistice-tracks (or with a heavy Calexico-influence, if you like), but it seems like it doesn’t get wings, if you know what I mean. Of all the songs on the album, this one makes the least impression.