Crevecoeur are a French three-piece outfit which play a style of music that brings to mind the expansiveness of soundtracks. These nine songs comprise the group's second album since their formation as a duo in 2003 and first for Denovali Records. Considering that I have no previous exposure to the band, an admission to being roped in by their comparison to Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini, Sigur Ros and The Black Heart Procession is completely in order; the question is whether or not Crevecoeur live up to such comparisons.
Seriously though, this is completely not what I expected at all because normally propaganda from PR and record companies almost never come through on their boasts and promises, but sure enough, "Le Ponte Des Possedes" definitely sounds like a lo-fi spaghetti western soundtrack piece with a bit of a modern flair, straight down to the American southwest sounding horns and acoustic guitars. The smooth tones of the violin pairing with the acoustic guitar and subtle bass in "La Pieuvre" is quite excellent while the vocals set the mood perfectly; quite honestly, it is a refreshing song that is particularly pleasing to the ears. The steady rhythm of "Bellinzona" continues to conjure images of the romantic vision of cowboys right out of the movies based in the southwestern United States and Mexico; the guitars are just about perfect sounding, save for the strange curveball in the latter third of the piece which sounds extremely out of place given that Crevecoeur falls right back into the main part of the song. The guitars in "Carnavalse" kill me (I have a real soft spot for Morricone's soundtrack work for The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly) with their spot on sounds and arrangement, and the violins just push the track over the top completely in creating an almost authentic timbre. The soft tones of the guitars accompanying the piano in the opening of "Corsair Sensuel" is another highlight of the album while the remainder of the track is a bit of a departure (in that it sounds like a much more developed and focused song in the more traditional pop sense) from previous pieces on II, but this aspect of Crevecoeur is a welcome change of place which adds another dimension to the band.
Crevecoeur produce quite the album in II that hits on many of the reference points that the press boasts; my one wish is that there would be more dynamic usage and tempo changing in the music, but this is simply a preference that is purely my own and a very small wish at that. Unfortunately Crevecoeur are a European band and probably will be quite some time before their music is readily available in the US, considering the weak dollar and how much it is killing people who order records from overseas. Also, the fact that the music is not so easily classifiable will surely play a role in how much exposure that the band gets in the United States because we can be pretty dumb people here. II is a good record that I highly recommend for people into Morricone and his soundtrack work or just anything with a southwestern United States flair.
7.5 / 10
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