The Rohn/Lederman couple proves to be quicker at composing than I am at writing my reviews, so I thought of this new format that will allow me to also talk about the new releases of labels that I have a bit forgotten. But let’s get down to business: the songwriting duo of Emileigh Roth and Jean-Marc Lederman have released two new works, the first, Apollo Chariot, a peculiar cover album of their previous LP, and the second, the first single from their forthcoming album to be released on 5 September.
Apollo Chariot is presented as the other side of Venus Chariot, a kind of remix of it, in which the voices appear in a different environment, although the truth is that the cut and paste work is so well done that we hardly recognise the originals.
As I listen to the album, I can’t help imagining the couple saying, “What do you think of adding a jazzy touch to this track?”, and the answer – “I don’t know, but let’s see”. And that’s what I think is the main value of these albums, that apart from containing good songs, they surprise you every minute with an unexpected arrangement or a twist that even the most experienced listener didn’t foresee.
And proof of this is the first track, a kind of nineties salsa/lounge with the amusing name of “Open Up The Salsa Bar (And Make Me A Mean Mojito)”. The album continues with “Would we be here today?” which wins us with its great chorus and unexpected guitars. The surprises continue: “Never Give Up!” is a more folk song while “I’m Not Sure I Know What’s Right” is good electronic pop. On “I’m Not Here To Complain” Lederman keeps the production to a minimum so we get a greater enjoyment of Emileigh‘s voice, a rather curious and interesting track. On “We Can’t Escape” the pair play at misleading: it seems like it’s going to be a dance track until a more classical part comes in that throws you off, and just when you think they’re going down that road, another shift into vaudeville pop territory. “Can’t Keep Up With All The Changes” is more lightly danceable electronic pop while “Heartbreak” is a pretty track, again with minimal ornament. The album continues tenderly with “The Cold Embrace”, a cybernetic ballad with an unexpected ending.
A rather original track is “Crashing Fire”, with repetitive keyboards and a rarefied air that ends on an industrial note. “Watch out!” appears in a remix by Krischan Jan-Eric Wesenberg that fills it with sweetness. “You Go To My Head” is a nice piano track while “My Headphones” is quality electronic pop, one of the best tracks on the album, with great singing from Emileigh and warm production. Another surprise is “I Got Glitters on my Hands”, again with an original production and the expressive voice of the artist also called as Chiasm. Also interesting is “It’s All So Strange” with some late night jazz moments. Finally “Cry” is a strange and passionate piece that will leave you with your mouth open for a long time.
The new single It Hurts! contains a new track, three remixes of the title track and an outtake from the album sessions. The original track “Pets” is a short composition with Emileigh‘s delicate vocals and a fantasy production full of Lederman‘s trademark noises. We see “It Hurts!” in three different versions, a faster one by Beborn Beton, a more EBM one by Leather Strip and an instrumental version of the same one. We think it’s a good idea to have Claus as he gives the aggression that suits him well. And we finish with the passionate “Enough of this” and the umpteenth production that has surprised us. More to come in September.