Melody Prochet is back -- finally, after very nearly a six-year wait -- with her gloriously panoramic psych-pop project Melody's Echo Chamber. Following a lengthy absence and illness, Bon Voyage is the sophomore follow-up to Prochet's self-titled debut of 2012. We hope for great things after her initial opus: an enchanting blend of breathless pop and whirlwind psychedelia. Plenty of expansive grooves are promised.
4 reviews. Add your own review.
It's been awhile but since Melody Echo Chamber's debut in 2012 since then she's fallen out with its producer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) and had a serious but unspecified accident which left her hospitalised. On the early sections of opener 'Cross My Heart' it sounds that nothing has really changed. It is gorgeous, gallic pop with a beautiful melody and stunning arrangements. That's all before the track goes off at an inexplicable tangent half way through taking in R & B, funk, an enormous flute solo, a bit of Tame Impala before thankfully, mercifully it ends.
More concise is 'Breathe In Breathe Out' which is more of the dreamy shoegaze as found on her debut. Her breathy vocals swirl over some pretty lovely guitar chords. Like 'Cross My Heart' it spends an awful lot of time chasing it's own tail though and 'Desert Horse' is also an utter shambles. First up: A warning to anyone over 30: it contains autotune. It's like Bon Iver has got a hold of it and applied all his usual borderline offensive sounds to it. So far, so overworked.
Overleaf there's a gorgeous thing called 'Quand Lesc Larmes D'un Ange Font Danser La Neige' which is a rather brilliant slab of psych pop with rolling drums and a likeable sort of mix of acoustic guitars and fuzz bass - strange spoken word interlude excepted - it's pretty good and indicates what the album could/should have been.
It's a record with hints of absolute brilliance but it's also way over indulgent and at times an endurance test for the listener. It tries hard to marry a lot of disparate things... some which work, many which don't. An overthought, overwrought album though not uninteresting.
9/10 Another Smith Customer review, 24th July 2018
Well this is an odd one but I feel the need to offer my tuppence worth. Her debut album is also one of my all time favourites so I was super excited to hear this long delayed follow up. But the preview tracks left me cold. In isolation they sounded disjointed, schizophrenic, basically all over the place. Melodies rudely interrupted by screams, hesitations and general discordant nuisance (and the dreaded autotune). So I can fully appreciate the sense of baffled disappointment experienced here.
Slowly things began to make sense. Ok, so it took 5 or 6 plays (more than I usually invest) of the record in its entirety but I finally began to embrace the weirdness. The initial utter shambles formed into a brilliantly conceived masterplan, and I'm still not sure how. The melodies are still there but they are interwoven with the sonic madness in such a skillful way that I now can't imagine them without it. I never thought I would look forward to a guttural scream and a flute solo. And the autotune just, works. Now the debut album seems a little lacking in comparison. So all I'm saying is, keep the faith and you will (eventually) be more than rewarded.
1/10 The Doc Customer review, 20th July 2018
Her self-titled debut from all the way back 2012 is one of my favourite albums of recent times, and, not knowing all the backstory about illnesses, broken necks and all the rest of it, I'd been wondering why the hell it had taken so long for the follow-up to be released. I was super-excited about it once I found out it was coming out, only to be hugely let down on playing it. For those who may not have heard it, the debut album was a deliciously dreamy, lysergic masterpiece of French sophistico-pop, in the mould of Broadcast and Stereolab, so I was hoping for more of the same. Unfortunately what we have here is something akin to an old-school psych-folk album, verging on prog in places (yuk), hideously self-indulgent, completely incoherent and generally an all-round mess. The MO here seems to have been, let's throw as much shit as we can at the wall and see what sticks. Unfortunately, not much did, and the end result is nothing more than a crap-strained carpet and a lingering smell in the living room. Every time you feel you might be getting into a groove with a song, it changes sound and direction completely, and you end up miles away from where you started, and usually in a place where you don't want to be, surrounded by twittering birds and fucking flute solos. I was so radged with this I struggled to make it through to the end of the first side, never mind the whole record, but I stuck it out, waiting for SOMETHING to get excited about and remind me of the greatness of the debut. Unfortunately nothing came, and that's forty five minutes of my life I'm never going to get back again. This is the sort of whimsical, 70's-tinted bollocks that makes me want to stick knitting needles in my years. The only saving grace is that next time I'm dealing with a Shaun of the Dead style zombie apocalypse and need some records to do some undead decapitating, I know which disc will be on top of the pile. Awful.
9/10 Jean-Emmanuel Customer review, 2nd July 2018
Very interesting and charming mix of french pop and brit psych-folk - wonderful
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- Bon Voyage by Melody's Echo Chamber
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