Thursday, April 03, 2008
4 Bonjour's Parties--Pigments Drift Down to the Brook (2007)
Artist-4 Bonjour's Parties
Album-Pigments Drift Down to the Brook
Release Date-Dec 4, 2007
Review-Like many bands who release an impressive debut album from seemingly out of nowhere, Tokyo's 4 Bonjour's Parties have been honing their electronically enhanced indie pop symphonies for some time, with self-released EPs and appearances on compilations. Though many of the songs on Pigments Drift Down to the Brook appeared on 4 Bonjour's Parties' earlier releases, that doesn't make them any less striking. Tracks such as "Crimson Sky After the Sunset" have names that feel more like descriptions of places or states of being than traditional song titles, and conjure vivid images: "Magpie Will Peck a Hole in My Plaster Cast"'s densely packed brass, guitars, xylophones, and laptop beats give the impression of being immersed in a forest of sound, and its winding flute solo flies above, aptly enough, like a bird. "Ksnana" turns that forest into a psychedelic jungle, drifting into trippier, echoing backward rhythms and bird songs. 4 Bonjour's Parties are seven members strong, and they sound like it, especially on sunny, sprawling songs like "Your Chill Long Hands" and "Amalthea." However, the band deploys its sonic arsenal carefully and artfully, as on "Satellite," which moves from a lighthearted melody to a darker, bass-driven sound and switches from fragile, programmed rhythms to the satisfying crash of a live drum kit at just the right moment. Not only do 4 Bonjour's Parties rock out more than many similar-minded acts, they also know when to pull back: "Il Cortile Grigio"'s bittersweet piano, flute, and whispery vocals make it a surprisingly sultry ballad, while the vulnerable "Nostalgic Was Broken to Pieces" sounds a little bit like a poppier, less hyperactive Cornelius song. Even Pigments Drift Down to the Brook's most delicate moments still have vigor, though, and this is reflected in the album as a whole — no matter how whimsical or sprawling the songs get, 4 Bonjour's Parties always feel in control of the journey on which they take their listeners.
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