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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Album Review: Le Loup

I won't even write the entire title of the album by these SubPop artists. It's too long, and it doesn't make sense to me.

I always wonder why bands make their album titles this long. It reminds me of Fiona Apple's album "When the Pawn..." that seemed to go on and on and on, literally covering the whole album cover with words. Has anyone ever read them? Nope. I may now because I'm writing about it, but beyond that, I think I'm the only human ever to really sit down and give it a read.

So what gives with all the long titles? Are they hiding behind their name because Le Loup produced a lack-luster album? As much as we'd like to think that way, it's not the case.

In reality, they've done what few other artists have done well: traversing genres to create a model record for today's indie music scene. And that's a tough thing to do, seeing as music today can't really be classified as one specific thing. There is no rule book saying that an album has to be a certain way, cause, quite frankly, it doesn't. With that said, one can't just assemble a group of musicians from different musical backgrounds, throw them in a studio, and make an epic record. If that were the case, I'd be on my 4th greatest hits album, friends with Axl Rose, and an enemy of Suge Knight.

If I wanted a short story, I'd read Tolstoy

Alas, music isn't that simple. And making a memorable record today seems to be getting harder and harder to do. Perhaps its because there's such a large influx of small bands and artists producing records. Or maybe it's because for the first time since the 90s, music listeners have gotten sick of the same old radio friendly bull shit. Either way, it's created a veritable renaissance of music, and this record is no exception.

Le Loup's strength is realizing that their sound is one that merges folk and synth pop into one thing. Think of it as Sufjan Stevens, James and Paul Simon meet the Postal Service. And even that is a bastardization. Folk is huge in indie today, from the likes of Iron and Wine (actually on SubPop, not just distro'd by them), all the way to my arch nemesis Devandra Banahart. I'm sure I spelled his name wrong. And that's fine with me. I've never seen someone try to look as 'free spirited' as he does, and it really pisses me off.

Perhaps a better example is Kings of Convenience, the Norwegian folk duo that reminds many people of Simon and Garfunkel. But they don't stop there. Their album Versus employs Fourtet, Royksopp, and Ladytron remixing thier sound, yet still retaining the folky roots.

Le Loup takes a swim

And I think that's exactly what they do here, which is why, as you can tell, I'm having a hard time describing exactly what they do. And after thinking about it, I can't say that that's necessarily a bad thing.

If you're looking for a fall record that sparkles with every polish, this is the one. Download it, try it out, and if you like it, go buy it!


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