Review Summary: Lunik's debut album is a solid offering of Trip-Hop combined with the beautiful vocals of Jael. Now if only it wasn't so hard to find.
Anyone who has read the reviews for Lunik
’s other albums knows that they are from Switzerland and that they started out as a purely electronic Trip-Hop band featuring the beautiful vocals of Jael. They’d also know that with each subsequent release Lunik slowly embraced more acoustic Pop elements leading to their fourth album, Preparing to Leave
, in 2006 which found them shedding almost all of the remaining electronic elements. The album that this review is the focus of is their debut album, Rumour
, which bares the distinction of being the most pure electronic album in their catalog.
When describing music using words such as “electronic” and “Trip-Hop”, a lot is still left to the imagination. These descriptors could mean so many things, from bouncy dance floor music to chill, weird soundscapes. In the case of Lunik, it’s somewhere in between. Almost all of the music on this album is chill, featuring smooth beats, spacey keyboard sounds, and a sense of gloominess. Even Jael’s vocals which sound so uplifting on almost every song beginning with their sophomore album seem subdued and melancholy on this one. It was something I wasn’t really expecting, but they are still as excellent as always.
The opening song, “Other Side”, exemplifies the elements described above perfectly. It has a slightly energetic beat over which various synth melodies and formless sounds are played. Over all of that are the soothing, yet sad, vocals of Jael, containing none of the Pop elements that she would begin to incorporate into her singing later in her career. Instead, she remains subdued, almost sounding as if she might have been high while singing the song. Despite the lack of any Pop elements, the song still has a catchy hook that will stick in your head long after it is over.
The following song, “Lost”, utilizes a chill Drum&Bass beat along with a single ambient keyboard sound, a subtle bass line, and more beautiful vocals from Jael. Most of the other songs follow the same basic theme of using various styles of mellow beats, with minimalist ambient keyboard sounds, and the gloomy, yet beautiful vocals of Jael. No matter how mellow the music gets or how bleak Jael’s vocals become, the songs all still manage to retain at least a minor ability to include something that catches your attention and keeps the song interesting, whether it’s a keyboard melody or a recurring sound, or the occasional chorus from Jael.
Overall, this is a solid debut album from Lunik and is great because it presents a side of them that they have since done away with completely. Unfortunately, this album seems to be fairly impossible to find (at least in the States) which caused me to have to buy it from a website based out of Switzerland for twenty-six dollars plus another eight for shipping. Based on that, I can’t recommend them to anyone who simply likes electronic music because it is certainly not going to be worth that kind of money to them. On the other hand if you can find this at regular price then I would certainly recommend picking it up as it is very solid, catchy, and basically doesn’t have any bad songs on it.