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Les heures de raison (Version morceau bonus)

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Album Review

The name of the group Soy un Caballo (Spanish for "I Am a Horse") might suggest this is a Latin based band, but instead it is a light Belgian-French pop group, as the title of the CD more correctly infers. Wafting lead female and male vocals from Brussels residents Aurélie Muller and Thomas Van Cottom evoke an unforced, peaceful, calmed style, while airy instrumental backdrops further enforce their non-threatening and serene motives for making music. The band is a conglomeration of various bands like Venus, V.O., the High Llamas, and Raymondo, including Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Delphine Bouhy, Cédric Castus, Boris Gronemberger, Sean O'Hagan, Julien Paschal, Kate Stables, Jesse Vernon, and special guest, Charlie Francis of R.E.M. The deer in the album art gives more clues as to the gentleness of this music, as there is nothing upbeat (save the bonus track) and everything sways and sashays with a natural, organic feeling. It is modernized by the use of slight electrified guitars and synthesizer washes, minimalism, in one instance a drum machine, and a Fender Rhodes or Farfisa sounding organ. Opening with a tinkling minimalist waltz, "Sous Les Paupieres," the band expands into spacy vibes and acoustic guitar for "Volet." There's a call and response between the male and female vocalists during "La Bibliotheque," an angelic, refreshing refrain from the vocal chansons for the undemanding "But Will Our Tears," and the late-night lullaby "Au Ralenti." A layered and echoed chorus in the clouds identifies "Robin," with one-note marimba and electric keyboards as the wind, while a good deal of looped electric guitar similar to Frippertronics alongside the tandem vocalists makes "La Lumiere Sur La Pelouse" sound surreal and supernatural. Constantly laid-back and open, a bit of energy surges during the drum machine-driven "La Chambre," while "Comme on Va Bien" is induced by handclapping, and the bonus track "Les Vacances" finally ramps up the beat in a ska-rock/pop vein via plopping drum accents. A good choice for reflection, contemplation, or perhaps lovemaking, Soy un Caballo fuses the late-night sensuality of urban cosmopolitan city life and the open cleanliness of the bright European countryside, with just a tinge of stinging spice. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

GREAT ALBUM FROM THIS DUO! GUEST STARS WILL OLDHAM and SEAN O'HAGAN

Great album from this Belgian duo! Saw them on the Take Away show and read about the album on Pitchfork.

Les heures de raison (Version morceau bonus), Soy Un Caballo
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