Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Benoit Pioulard - Precis

Download: Benoit Pioulard - "Triggering Back"
Download: Benoit Pioulard - "Ext. Leslie Park"
Download: Benoit Pioulard - "Needle & Thread"

Benoit Pioulard
Precis (Kranky, 2006)
Grade: B+

This album review is neither timely nor seasonally appropriate. Last winter, when Benoit Pioulard (who's known to his family and friends as Thomas Meluch) released a snowy collection of weird pop songs, Precis. At 22 years of age, the depth and quality of Meluch's songwriting caused a number of people to sit up and take notice. But more importantly, his aesthetic--warm vocals, fuzzy instrumentation and dissonance--resonated with those of us that suffer through long Midwestern winters. Meluch's a native of Michigan, and I've always felt that this album sounded like a lonely drive around an icy lake, where the warmth of the car is at odds with the bitter cold of your surroundings.

Appropriately, then, I'm writing about this album when it's summer and all of that snow and ice seems distant. But Precis stands up on its own two feet even without the winter background. Check out the two tracks I've posted, and if you dig, try and check out the entire record. Meluch spent a lot of time sequencing Precis, and it works as an album, with a beginning, middle and end.

(Pete Farrell)


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