Review Summary: The second era of Lunik is ushered in with a solid acoustic pop album.
Anyone who regularly follows this band had to have seen this coming. Lunik started out playing trip-hop, but with each new release they began integrating more pop influences into their sound, pushing the electronic elements further into the background. By their last album, Preparing to Leave
, they were basically on life support. The band’s path towards a purely organic pop sound was clear and deliberate and this album is the result. All remaining traces of their trip-hop roots have been wiped clean and the band seem ready for a fresh beginning. Possibly as a way of transitioning their fans away from their old sound, this “new album” is actually a collection of songs from the band’s previous two releases but re-recorded as pure pop songs.
The decision to make their first real pop album a collection of songs that fans already know and love is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand it does work to ease into the band’s new sound since these are all songs most fans will be intimately familiar with. On the other hand, despite the quality presented here, it’s occasionally difficult to not miss the electronic elements present on the originals. The thing that holds this album together is the professionalism and quality compositional skills that the band has always exhibited. These songs aren’t simply recreations sans electronics; they’re completely re-imagined utilizing organic percussion, acoustic and electric guitars as well as violins and pianos.
Whether they’re conveying the sensuality of “Prisoner” or the upbeat fun of “Little Bit”, the new instruments do a fine job of delivering the same experience as the originals. Whereas the original “Prisoner” was layered with electronics and a slow trip-hop beat, this new version replaces the electronics with a finely-crafted acoustic guitar melody over subtle percussion and a bluesy guitar lead. It’s these types of additions that allow the band to get away with not including any new songs on this release. Of course, the main thing this band has going for them is the beautiful and delicate vocals of Jaël. Lunik’s songs have always been carried by her voice, and that hasn’t changed here. As long as she doesn’t go solo this band will have a bright future.
I was dreading this album because it was obviously going to be the start of a new era for the band. Thankfully, the transition was made much easier due to the entire effort having a sense of familiarity. It not only made the album much easier to accept, but it also proved that they could successfully pull off acoustic pop without electronics. Between the beautiful vocals of Jaël and the careful thought that was put in to the revamped music, this album is a welcome addition to the Lunik discography and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.