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SvenSson: Cyprine

Cyprine is the latest CD from French artist Steve Besset, aka Svensson and is the follow-up to Perdition which is also reviewed on this site. The music on Cyprine is similar to his last CD although this time around there is an underlying artiness pervading the artist's French wave pop style and the songs seem slightly more varied. SvenSson proves to be a versatile musician as he plays guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums and percussion. He does have help with bass, drums, guitar and some excellent violin work from Emilie Cabezas which really adds a layer of melancholic lushness that suits the music well. Also of note are SvenSson's half spoken/half sung vocals which to my ears work better here for reasons unknown, although there may be a stronger emphasis on singing than on the last album.

The guitar is used in an understated way, providing subtle rhythms and delicate melodies but is vital to SvenSson's sound. Piano is also an integral component and appears on ten of the album's twelve cuts giving a these songs a feeling of elegance.

The album begins with the sparsely arranged "Brumes" featuring a naked piano melody against a backdrop of moody guitar and percussion. It is a short number and leads directly to the up tempo grooves of "Gô/Nô-Gô" with its cool jangly guitar melody and effective violin work. The opening vocoder in "L'Ardeur" is a nice touch and Svensson's pulsating bass line in conjunction with the sad strains of violin makes for a nice listen although at just over a minute long it seems unfinished as its potential was not fully realized.

Other highlights include the moody pop of "Tanzerin Trinkerin Fickerin" with its dissonant textures of piano, guitar and violin and the melodic "Initials P.J." featuring tasty fretwork and a lilting violin melody that just might stick in your head for days making this song my favourite on the album.

Also included as a bonus track is the controversially titled "Fucking Shit", a track also featured on Perdition. It is a pretty good song although I could do without the vulgar lyrics (they are French except for, you guessed it, the two words stated above). Cyprine is a good album and in my opinion an improvement over his previous effort. Better melodies and a more interesting album all around, Cyprine may turn a few heads, especially those interested in atmospheric pop music.

Track Listing:
1. Brumes
2. Gô/Nô-Gô
3. Dig
4. L'Ardeur
5. Dalton Ames
6. Cyprine
7. Tanzerin Trinkerin Fickerin
8. Babychka
9. Initials P.J.
10. Dick Street
11. Barely Legal
12. Traverse-Moi
13. Bonus Track

Added: April 12th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1717
Language: english

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