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Album review

One For Jude

One For Jude make “moody, pop, folk, alternative music”, also describing themselves as “dark folk and dream pop” or even “dark disco”. Either this is a very cynical attempt to preempt lazy pigeonholing by categorizing themselves as every possible genre of music real or fictional or they just can’t make up their minds. Granted, One For Jude do hail from France so there could very well be something lost in translation here.

Anyway the music itself is a bit of a mish-mash of electronics, piano, drone and predominantly French lyrics. On some of the tracks this works surprisingly well, track 3 stands out as a fairly dark atmospheric take on Au Revoir Simone. The first track opens with a Sian Alice Group sound-a-like guitar line before segueing into a pretty little piano breakdown and ending on an almost Sigur Ros-like layering of electronic noise and vocals.

When it doesn’t work though it is truly shocking. Track two opens with a baroque piano line before the lead singer pipes up with some bizarre choir boy vocals heavy on the reverb. It then descends into what sounds like throat singing as the poor chap tries to strangle some hitherto undiscovered notes from his noise pipe. In fact, in a number of tracks the singer does adopt an unusual kind of garbled warbling. The French tracks are easily better, I’ve rarely attempted to sing in another language but it must be a minefield of potential faux pas. See if you can hear him sing ‘the belly of the glove’…

I get the impression that these guys take themselves very, very seriously, it’s just a shame that they aren’t very good.
One For Jude- Bonheur Dynamique Mr. Jack Baxter