If you're planning on a relaxing summer journey, this record may be worth throwing in the suitcase. Boozoo Bajou's third album finds the German duo at their most laid-back, and has a smattering of gorgeous vocal tracks as well, including a new female vocal, Humer.
The eleven tracks are cut fairly equally between song-based tracks and instrumentals. The first half of the album is heavier on 'songs' and kicks off with the languid, summer lounge of 'Flickers' before the upbeat, feel-good soul of 'Sign', a song to mind 70s bands like Tower of Power. Although from different genres and featuring different vocalist, these songs set a mood of chilled out relaxation and feature instantly hummable vocal melodies.
After an instrumental we arrive at the album's strongest part, the Zero 7 tinged 'Same Sun' featuring Humer, followed by 'Grains', another acoustic guitar led track with a male vocal. The latter has a vocal that sounds like early Pink Floyd and recalls the dreamy nature of songs like 'Grantchester Meadows'. Both songs are perfect accompaniment to driving down country lanes in the sunshine, generally watching the world go by.
After this the album becomes dominated much more by instrumentals. Here what passes for subtlety for some may for another listener be boredom. But for a fan of Boozoo's earlier stuff they will see some development in instrumentation -- 'Tonschraube' features some superbly recorded horns, really buried in the mix, while 'Kinder Ohne Strom' invests in some electronics to complement its wild-west guitars.
On the vocal side Rumer comes back for the plaintive 'Messengers' before the ambient fade out of 'Nebelkloster'. The choice of last track is really elliptical and contemplative, a bit like the end of Tosca's J.A.C. album where 'No More Olives' provides the same effect.
I really enjoyed this album. It features much better vocal tracks than on 'Dust My Broom' and the instrumental tracks have interesting nuances that show Boozoo developing their sound and influencing further. The pace does drop off slightly through tracks 6-7, but it's still a great summer album, the atmosphere consistent throughout.
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