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Queen Of The Wave

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 30 Jan 2012
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Jan. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Catskills Records
  • ASIN: B005M2ANE4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,024 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Pepe Deluxé are the brainchild of Jari Salo aka James Spectrum and his white tuxedo ed musical partner Paul Malmström, a prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalist residing in his penthouse apartment in Manhattan. and attempts to brew a cup of perfect coffee. Pepe Deluxé last released an album 4 years ago with 'Spare Time Machine', but unlike most artists this is no bad thing. They've kept themselves busy. Among other things they are now the only people ever to record an original composition on the known Universe's largest musical instrument: The Stalacpipe Organ, which resides in the Luray Caves in Virginia. This simple task of capturing two minutes of music took over six years of planning and work! Pepe Deluxé tend to make the impossible possible in the pursuit of musical excellence. The album Queen of the Wave, due for release in early 2012, is a pop opera loosely based around a 19th Century Sci-Fi novel A Dweller Of Two Planets and at a time of downloadable single tunes, is highly refreshing.

BBC Review

The Finnish ensemble Pepe Deluxé, ostensibly fronted by James Spectrum and Paul Malmström, are the kind of collective that piles its plates high come a turn at the buffet table. For these characters, spread across an album sold on its packaging as “an esoteric pop opera in three parts”, there is no fear in the coronation chicken spilling into the prawn cocktail: the more flavours, and the more mixed they become, the better. It’s a commendable approach, one borne by creative freedom and a refreshing ignorance of boundaries. But the results of such creative concocting can go down awkwardly – while it’s certain this album will win countless admirers, how many will still be playing Queen of the Wave in a few months is questionable.

The cornucopia of compositional characteristics on display is blinding – and Queen of the Wave isn’t backwards in delivering its message of everything-goes within its first moments. Opener Queenswave – an introduction to the revivalist sci-fi tale that unfolds across these three chapters, in turn spread over 12 tracks – begins by skirting technicolour-gone-sepia psychedelica, cleverly avoiding turning into a Kula Shaker mush of meaninglessness. It’s followed by A Night and a Day, which could pass for Sharon Jones collaborating with Super Furry Animals (a bloomin’ great idea) as heard through the earholes of big-in-the-late-90s indie-dance-crossover sorts Lionrock. Go Supersonic is bubblegum at its core but flexes some bulging rock’n’R’n’B muscles – it’s The Pipettes dragged through a hedge by Rocket from the Crypt while a wicked harpsichord dances atop the orchestrated chaos. And that’s the first three songs – what follows is just as hyperactive of behaviour, and never stalls short of providing compelling entertainment.

The problem with Queen of the Wave is also its USP: it’s simply so haphazard of design, however deliberately so, to stick in the head and the heart in the manner of truly great albums. Spectrum and Malmstöm conduct a merry cast that crams more creativity into these dozen cuts than most bands exhibit over the course of entire careers; but not once is the listener struck by magic manifesting a lasting impression. Several listens in and it’s a beautiful interlude, In the Cave, that’s the highlight, purely due to its elegant simplicity. The cacophony silenced, here is a chance for reflection; and, on it, there’s just too much noise here, and not enough cohesion, for a singular identity to sing clearly.

--Mike Diver

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11 customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

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