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Solresol

reviewed by:North Adams Transcript - www.thetranscript.com/Stories/0,1413,103~9047~2964

Billed by some as 'the most European band in America,' Melomane transcends both regions to create sounds that evoke portions of each and fashions something new..

reviewed by:Blender - www.blender.com/guide/reviews.aspx?id=1481

Groovy retro TV music dressed up in pop-song drag...

If the Brooklyn sextet Melomane had been born 30 years earlier, they could’ve struck it rich doing TV music. Their second album establishes one kicky, lush instrumental atmosphere after another, with clever arrangements augmented by cello, Herb Alpert– esque trumpet and a bank of keyboards with a vintage warble. There are wry details and allusions all over the place — they even lift the wordless vocal refrain of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” for “The Spirit of Smoke.” As songs, though, their mood sketches are more evocative than they are memorable — even the lyrics in their tribute to New York tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch seem like an afterthought to its robotic waltz. “All of the things that I’m trying to say could be sung in tones,” they declare on the title track, and they’re right about that.

reviewed by:Impact Press - www.impactpress.com/articles/octnov03/musicr101103

'...Melomane carries over some of what they did from the first album to provide an atmosphere heavy on catchy melodies, melancholy lyrics, orchestral instrumentations, electronic soundscapes, power-pop and prog-rock sounds that bring to mind The Pixies, Calexico, Beck, Can and Leonard Cohen...'

reviewed by:Splendid Zine - www.splendidzine.com

Lets begin with an alphabetized list of bands and artists that NYCs Melomane has been compared to: 10cc, Lou Barlow, Beck, Calexico, Can, Leonard Cohen, Donovan, Duran Duran, Fugazi, Joe Jackson, Ennio Morricone, Nirvana, Pavement, Pixies, Spiritualized, Stereolab, Tindersticks, Tom Waits, Wings and Yo La Tengo. Yup, you counted right -- thats twenty separate musical entities, none of which has much to do with the others. Is this an act of extreme sonic hubris? Rampant overpromising? PR run amok? The funny thing is, as I listen to Solresol, none of the above name-checks seem to be all that egregious. So how does a band manage to evoke so many musical forebears at once? For starters, by jettisoning any pretense at having a core sound. Melomane is an eminently mutable combo, flitting from ye-ye pop to loungy cabaret without even a raised eyebrow. True, its all delivered with a dark, smoky vibe imported from the decadent jazz clubs of Paris (lead singer/songwriter Pierre de Gaillande is a native), but that could hardly be described as a unifying feature, especially after sampling the quirky, wildly eclectic offerings on display here. 'The Fighting Guitars' evokes the American West with weepy pedal steel and brushed drums, 'Far Out' dives in with crunchy guitars, and the title track seems beamed in from a Euro-Pop variety show circa 1966. For those of you playing spot-the-influence, check out the Pavementisms in 'Aria in D' and the Leonard Cohen-gone-jazz of 'Complicated Melody.' In truth, there's more to Melomane than globetrotting, pinch-of-this/dash-of-that fun. Both de Gaillande's literate lyrics and the band's tight musical chops elevate Melonmane above their peers, who so often treat genre-hopping as an end, not a means. Listeners seeking elegant pop that walks a fine line between high seriousness and goofy kicks will be nicely surprised by Solresol. At the very least, it's an excellent primer for the vast musical universe that Melomane calls home. - Ben Hughes

reviewed by:Tastes Like Chicken - www.tasteslikechicken.com

When I first put Melomane¹s new sophomore release, Solresol (Vermillion Music), into my CD player, my good friend Latta de Saint was in the room. The first track, 'Complicated Melody', starts the disc off. 'I don¹t fucking believe it,' I said. 'What?' Realtoon inquired. 'I actually got a CD I like to review. Hot!' And right off the bat, musically, Melomane reminded me of something. But I couldn¹t place it. Their press release compares them to Calexico (a definite influence), Leonard Cohen (somewhat of a stretch), Beck (nowhere near as funky), and Stereolab (most definitely). But that still wasn¹t it. What the fuck could it be? It has been making me nuts for weeks now. Until tonight. It finally hit me: Os Mutantes. They sound like Os Mutantes,.. only they speak English. The sextet combines guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, cello, trumpet, and samples. It¹s pretty,.. indescribable, to be honest. It¹s poppy, yet melancholy. It¹s light-hearted in its vibe, yet dark in its melodies. It¹s a mish-mash of a bunch of different things. And I dig it. And it also invokes memories of me being young and watching episodes of The Banana Splits on television. Don¹t ask. At first, my only complaint was that I didn¹t feel that singer Pierre de Gaillande¹s voice was doing the music justice. But, as someone close to me pointed out, 'Give him a break. He¹s French.' But as time went on, and as one listening turned into two, and two into many more, I have grown to like the vocals. Pierre¹s voice actually fits now. And I no longer think that it is him that was out of place. I think it was me. Songs to pay extra special attention to are the slow and saucy 'Far Out', the Modest Mouse-esque 'The Cruise' (Yes, I made a GOOD comparison to Modest Mouse. Lay off.), and the lyrically addictive end track, 'A Capella'. They¹re all pretty yummy, though. Since this is a sophomore album (and since most sophomore albums are typically mere shadows of freshman attempts), I¹m now forced to hunt down their first album, Resolvo. Goddamnit. More money for me to spend. Guess it looks like I¹m off to sell more guns and drugs to children in the inner-city. - insane wayne chinsang

reviewed by:BabySue.com - www.babysue.com

The second full-length release from New York's Melomane. Resolvo, the band's debut album, created quite a buzz. Solresol is bound to receive the same reaction, as it features more inventive and unusual pop with a uniquely cool slant. Melomane tunes are not obvious. The band composes material that is strangely different...yet intertwined with enough familiar threads to make for an easy and smooth listen. The band consists of Pierre de Gaillande, Daria Klotz, Frank Heer, Quentin Jennings, Kenny Savelson, and Jesse Neuman. Not surprisingly, the band's music has a French flavor (de Gaillande was born in France, you see...). The twelve tracks on Solresol present this band's multifaceted nature...making it difficult to draw comparisons. Soothing, complex...and very intriguing. Includes 'Complicated Melody,' 'The Fighting Guitars,' 'The Cruise,' and 'Buddha Statue.' (Rating: 5++)

reviewed by:The Philler - www.thephiller.com

While some Americans decided to throw out all things related to France including such things as French toast and French fries over the disagreements between France and the United States regarding Iraq, the New York-based 'pop-noir' group Melomane ‹ led by Paris-born singer-songwriter Pierre de Gaillande ‹ was working on their second album, Solresol, to be released August 19th on Vermillion Music. Strangely, when you look up 'Solresol' on dictionary.com it is solely defined as being 'an artificial language' with no mention of Frenchman Jean Francois Sudre, the creator of the universal language based on music by that name. It is this language that is the subject of the title track and reflected throughout the album with songs that use the subject as metaphor such as 'Complicated Melody', 'The Fighting Guitars', and 'A Capella'. Melomane, a sextet consisting of Daria Klotz (bass, vocals), Frank Heer (cello, synth), Quentin Jennings (keyboard), Kenny Savelson (drums), and Jesse Neuman (trumpet) backing de Gaillande, uses its collection of instruments and musicians to create a varied assortment of music, each song expertly orchestrated and layered to emit the fullest sound possible. Throughout the album a playful, filmic atmosphere is present adding a certain amount of visual depth not present on most albums. Basically, when it comes to Solresol, my feelings could be summed up by the following line from the album, 'if I had to pick a word to talk about it, it¹s far out.' -- PhiLL Ramey

reviewed by:North Adams Transcript - www.thetranscript.com/Stories/0,1413,103~9047~2964

Billed by some as 'the most European band in America,' Melomane transcends both regions to create sounds that evoke portions of each and fashions something new...
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