The Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur (Border)

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Cinematic Orchestra: Familiar Ground
The Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur (Border)

Although the great soul singer Fontella Bass appears (with great restraint) on a couple of tracks on this widescreen, evocative and yes, cinematic, album, the real attention in the vocal department alights on Patrick Watson from Montreal who possesses a Jeff Buckley-like grandeur, although he doesn't exercise it with the same strength and melodrama.

Rather he sits back and allows for his brief forays to be an integral part of this slightly woozy and beautifully arranged soundscape.

I'm always suspicious when musicians talk of making "imaginary movies" and the like, but these sonic sketches certainly conjure up the effect of a soundtrack to some ennui-filled, slowly evolving, romantic movie, certainly set in Parisian streets and mostly in the hours before dawn.

This is music to drift in and out of -- in places it recalls aspects of Eno's Before And After Science -- and it goes well with soft lights. The titles tell you as much: Child Song, Prelude, As The Stars Fall, Breathe, Time and Space . . .

Quite lovely.

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