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Review: 'Louis Philippe & The Night Mail'

-  Label: 'Tapete Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '11.12.20.'

Our Rating:
This is Louis Philippe's second album this year and follows on from his collaboration with Stuart Moxham the excellent The Devil Laughs. As Louis alter ego Philippe Auclair isn't travelling all over the pace reporting on football this year or writing books about Tony Blair there has been more time for Louis to produce the music he has been working on for a few years with the help of Robert Rotifer, Andy Lewis and Ian Button.

The album opens like it's going to be a noir jazz album by Barry Adamson with Living On Borrowed Time opening slowly out into something more like The High Llamas meeting the Alessi Brothers and trying to go proper late night jazz as Louis sings about the sense many fellow Europeans living in the UK currently have as the completion of Brexit approaches. The bass line on this with the flourishes of strings is very evocative.

Once In A Lifetime Of Lies is a gentle and yet probing song about the sort of person who lies about everything they do with some cool cymbal work and vocals that for me sound a bit like Popincourt.

Rio Grande has the sort of relaxed laid-back feel that it could almost be a Francois Hardy song transposed for a male vocal, it's gently intoxicating and sounds like it's meant to be played in a room wreathed in Gitanes smoke.

Willow starts with a violin intro that feels quite wintry before the muted trumpet adds a real cafe jazz feel to this super pretty tune where the only lyrics are Willow sung repeatedly as if he is singing the title once for every leaf on the tree he's imagining or looking at.

Fall In A Daydream sounds like a super pleasant daydream until you realize he's singing about the break up of a relationship rather than the love-in it sounds like.

Thunderclouds has a sense of impending change for the worse as those Thunderclouds come towards us over a super gently chamber jazz backing that has a couple of bits where the bass comes to the forefront that I am struggling to recall where I know that bit from, either way this has a delicate beauty to it.

Love Is the Only Light has a message we all need to hear over and over again in this most divisive and hate filled year, so please can we all sway and sing along to the chorus and start believing the Love Is The Only Light as they hope for a better day and peace and unity.

Alphaville sounds like they are playing along to the film and going for a chamber jazz pop feel this is deeply beautiful and all too brief.

No Sound has the feel of a laid-back song of regret and sorrow at being replaced in your lovers bed by someone else, somehow the beauty of the music makes sure it doesn't sound at all bitter at how things have turned out.

The Man Who Had It All is sophisticated chamber pop for anyone regretting doing something that means you lose the things you hold most precious and that works just as well with the current state of play politically as the establishment continues to crumble.

The Mighty Owl has a bit of a Nick Drake very late-night feel to it, sparse and carefully strummed and played this asks questions about when will The Mighty Owl fly the nest and the belief we should all have in the owl.

Do I very gently asks some questions as to what the best way forward is as the violins and piano gently punctuate the lyrics.

The album closes with When London Burns that sounds like it is as much about the Brexit mess as it is about the current state London is in, love the brass section that comes in and out of this song that is about the quickest tune on the album and sounds nothing like any other songs you may think of about London burning.

Find out more at https://www.tapeterecords.de/artists/louis-philippe-the-night-mail/ https://www.facebook.com/Louis-Philippe-105968526172024
Or watch next weeks Live stream at https://www.liveatrimshotstudio.com/ on 16.12.20.
  author: simonovitch

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