(With CD, 2PC)
LP edition, with printed inner sleeve and CD included, of French band Syd Matters's 2010 album Brotherocean. Frontman and songwriter Jonathan Morali combined and modified the names of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Roger Waters to form the band's name, which he also uses as his pseudonym. For Morali, songwriting can best be described as an adventure. Listen to the gentle persistence of "Wolfmother" or "River Sister" as they instill their entrancing melodies, reaching deep into the soul, while "Hi Life" and "Lost," thanks to their arrangements, both sound like instant classics without forsaking any of their unquestioned originality. The use of a simple change in harmony coupled with a burst of chorus in "Halalcsillag" sends the listener spinning into unknown territory. "We Are Invisible," "A Robbery," and "Hadrian's Wall" drift out in such a pure and simple way, but are anything but ordinary. This is songwriting that breaks with the mundane while managing to avoid falling into the trap of trying too hard to be different or obtuse. Songwriting that, in Morali's words, moves between the familiar and the unknown as easily as one drifts from reality into dreams. All the artistry of Syd Matters is summed up here; the extraordinary accomplished with ease, genuine originality free of any artifice, a voice of confidence that is healthily indifferent to known musical genres and fashionable gimmicks. The five travelers in Syd Matters chose not to weigh themselves down with any unnecessary baggage and Brotherocean only goes to prove how right they were.