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The Breath of Life – Sparks Around Us

by François Zappa

The Breath of Life had a very difficult task in doing an album as good as their previous record, the great Under the Falling Stars but, without any doubt, they have managed to do it with Sparks Around Us. The Belgian darkwave/Goth rock band is back with 11 incredible songs that will please all their fans. Inspiration has not left them and in this record, Isabelle sings better than ever, Philippe Mauroy does a great work with his guitars, Didier Czepczyk is perfect as the rhythm motor and the violin and keyboards from Giovanni Bortolin give a lot of deepness to the compositions. Sparks Around Us has been released by the prestigious label Wool-E Discs.

The album starts in the best possible way with the powerful “She Wore a Crown” where the work of Bortolin really stands up together with the guitar of Mauroy that underlines the chorus with a lot of strength. “Sparks Around Us,” the song that names the album has a more post-punk sound and is one of the tracks where Isabelle sings better. “The Girl in a Box,” has an intro that reminds me of The Cure, and it’s a song that every fan of the first albums of Cocteau Twins will love. “She’s Not Real” has incredible guitars and a disturbing ambience. “So Low” is almost dream pop, some of its sounds remind me of Slowdive. “My Runaway Call,” continues with the dreamy vibe in another great track of an album where we can’t find any filler. “Her Dream Cloud” really stands out, it’s also very dreamy and with such a beautiful interpretation from Isabelle.

“Every other day” could be a great single as it has a very catchy chorus and a really nice danceable rhythm. “How” is very cinematic (something that could be said of many of the songs of this album), and gives Didier the opportunity to stand out. When Isabelle sings “Shiny Shiny” in “In Her Darkness”, it makes me think of Nico. Plus, the song shares that melancholic feel that some of the songs by the ex-singer of the Velvet Underground. “A Soul Reflection” has another great and catchy chorus, and it’s a perfect ending for this album that will guide the first days of our 2021.

Sparks Around Us will please every fan of the band as it continues the path that the band has been following lately but with one of their best collection of songs. And I wish that their songs could reach a wider public, as this album is really a breath of life to an almost dead 2020.

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