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28/01/2022 : FRAGRANCE - Salt Water

FRAGRANCE

Salt Water

MusicCD / Vinyl / Digital
DreampopElectro WaveSynth Pop / Electro PopSynthpop

[81/100]   

Synth Religion
28/01/2022, Jurgen BRAECKEVELT

EN

Fragrance, the solo project of Matthieu Roche from Paris is back. After his great debut album Now That I'm Real from 2019, he returns with the follow-up album Salt Water.

His catchy, melancholic dream-pop-synth-sound, often supported by pounding bass thumps and his sensual vocals... It's still all there. He is one of the musicians of Hélène De Thoury's (aka Hante) Synth Religion label.

The album is co-produced by Sophia Hamadi, one half of duo Opale.

Since Fragrance likes to wander on different synth paths, this album also became a nice mix between more minimal-driven songs such as 'Forevermore' and 'Tears' and eighties synth sounds such as we hear in 'Attiré Par Le Chaos', among others. Matthieu's dreamy vocals really give it that extra sweet twist. How he meanders vocally with the music: it's a golden combination.

'Twisted Way' sounds even more sweet and catchy. A cuddly factor of 100 with very sparse retro synth sounds. Sometimes a song really needs very little to completely seduce one. Quod erat demonstrandum… 'Love Bites' also fits in this category very well. Catchy all the way! With a very nice melody that seems to come from a very long distance.

Every now and then we get a nod to more techno-influenced songs like 'Bind Me Up With Your Flesh'. The rhythms and beats certainly get you moving!

Also 'Crisis' is a very cool synth-wave song, with a bass-line and bone-dry rhythms that take you into a nice high. The voice also determines the atmosphere here. It remains a great blend.

Fragrance balances on the edges between synth-wave, dream-pop, minimal and synth-wave. For all I care, he can fall off that edge, because it doesn't matter a damn thing. He keeps mesmerizing us, whatever he does. This Salt Water is a very worthy successor to his debut. He is in the purebred stable of the Synth Religion label, so let him work out his devils. This is a top notch musician who has a lot to offer which he just proved here with verve.

Jurgen BRAECKEVELT
28/01/2022


NL

Fragrance, het soloproject van Matthieu Roche uit Parijs is terug. Na zijn geweldige debuut-album Now That I’m Real uit 2019, is hij nu terug met de opvolger Salt Water.

Zijn catchy, melancholisch dreampop-synth-geluid, veelal geruggesteund door wapenende basdreunen en zijn sensuele zang: ze zijn er nog steeds. Hij huist in het rijtje muzikanten van Hélène De Thoury’s (aka Hante) Synth Religion-label.

Het album is gecoproduceerd door Sophia Hamadi, de helft van duo Opale.

Gezien Fragrance zich graag op verschillende synth-paden begeeft, is ook dit album een mooie mix tussen wat meer minimal-gedreven songs als Forevermore en Tears en eighties-synth-sounds zoals we de terugvinden in onder andere Attiré Par Le Chaos. Matthieu’s dreamy vocalen geven het echt die extra zoete twist mee. Hoe hij vocaal meandert met de muziek: het is een gouden combinatie.

Twisted Way is nog zeemzoeter en pakkend. Aaibaarheidsfactor 100 met heel zuinige retro-synth-sounds. Een song heeft soms echt heel weinig nodig om je compleet te verleiden. Quod erat demonstrandum… in ditzelfde rijtje misstaat ook Love Bites niet. Catchy all the way. Met een wel heel aanstekelijke melodie die van héél erg ver lijkt te komen.

Af en toe krijgen we een knipoog naar meer met techno-invloeden doordrenkte songs zoals Bind Me Up With Your Flesh. De ritmes en beats zetten je in beweging, dat wel.
Crisis is een heel vette synthwave song, met een baslijntje en kurkdroge ritmes die je meenemen in een lekkere high. Ook hier is de stem mee bepalend voor de sfeer. Het blijft een geweldige blend.

Fragrance balanceert op de rand tussen synthwave, dreampop, minimal en synthwave. Voor mijn part sukkelt hij van die rand, want het maakt geen barst uit. In de zin van: hij blijft je inpakken. Wat hij ook doet. Dit is een zeer waardige opvolger van zijn debuut. Hij zit in de raspaardenstal van Synth Religion. Laat hem zijn duivels maar uitwerken. Dit is een klassemuzikant die héél veel in zijn mars heeft en dit hier met verve toont.

Jurgen BRAECKEVELT
28/01/2022


28/01/2022 : FRAGRANCE - Salt Water 28/01/2022 : FRAGRANCE - Salt Water

 

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