Jazz is at a weird place in the 21st century, like basically every other form of music. Boundaries between jazz and other genres sometimes completely disappear, as they do with this record. At times, I think for sure this is some kind of modern art pop (i.e. not jazz) but then there are tracks when I think “for sure this is jazz.” I know this is basically irrelevant to most people but this is the kind of thing a genre-bending record like this makes me think about.
The songs are often relatively simple but with many hallmarks of jazz (horns, keyboards sounding like horns). The reliance or either electronic percussion or percussion made to sound electronic often makes the songs sound deceptively simple when they’re not.
Like many bands who sing in English but who don’t appear to have English as their first language, I can’t say I love the lyrics a lot of the time. But I will say that I don’t notice them when they’re awkward as frequently as I sometimes do with bands like this. (I can make no comment on the French lyrics.)
The real thing, for me, to pay attention to, are the arrangements, which are lush or dense, in terms of instruments and noises, but which manage to sound relatively different to much of the music I’ve heard. The mixture of electronic textures with live saxophone and voice is something I’m sure is relatively common at this point but something I’m not super familiar with. It’s a refreshing sound that works for me more than it doesn’t. I can’t tell you where it fits on the jazz-pop spectrum (and that changes from track to track) but that’s sort of the fun of it. There’s a quirky cover of “Boys Don’t Cry” to boot. Still haven’t made my mind up about that one.
I don’t know if the production will sound dated in 30 years but, to me, it sounds diverse enough that I don’t think it will sound too “2018” later (but what do I know).
On the whole this is pretty compelling, interesting music, most of the time. It makes me interested in what the band will do next.