Review Summary: Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde is obviously heartfelt, tranquil, and bold, and though there are the minor flaws, Alcest has crafted an album that provides the listener with a serial of heartfelt compositions.
The immense shrouds of pretense that hover over so many recent records can oftentimes lead to a record's demise. For example, Krallice's self-titled debut is looked at as the pinnacle of an artist having too many bloated ideas going on at once. However, it is oftentimes the memorability of said pretense that leads to an outstanding achievement rather than a hollow work of ostentation. Circle Takes The Squares' As The Roots Undo
is an example of the latter. So, an album that displayed mind-jarring amounts of whimsicality and a surplus of croons could easily fall into either category. Surely the mannerisms of this album could signify pretense. Well, Alcest's Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
proves that it can.
Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
features layer upon layer of whimsy throughout all six of the tracks present. Lo-fi guitar distortion litters the album as the fancy cymbal exercises throughout. The ethereal vocals are almost always croons, and there's a certain ebb and flow within the tracks that post-rock bands seem to have down pat. Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
also displays some tremolo plucks that accent the music. The arrangements on this LP make so much use of this technique that it's bound to shine once and a while. On “Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde”, it does. However, after a while, some of it becomes stagnant, and stagnancy is a major issue with this release.
Although there are some occurrences where the listener's interest is especially piqued, the songs' structures are almost all eerily similar. Meandering musicianship meets light, dream-like vocals on every single track. For the most part, these components act as a highlight to the album, but towards the end of Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
, they tend to grow tiresome. The incoherence of “Tir Nan Og” is a poor selection to end an album. The light, high-pitched vocals on “Sur L'autre Rive Je T'attendrai” only exacerbate the placidity of the vocal department. However, there is still hope.
“Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde” is the evident album highlight. The ethereal vocals are apposite here, and the musicianship is resplendent rather than a meandering mess. The loud solos and tremolo plucks towards the end of the song act as a climax. However, this does not perturb the elegance of the track. The delicate patterns throughout act as a set of well-balanced, exciting rhythms. This is not to say that the intriguing melodies at the beginning of “Printemps Émeraude” are dissonant chords. No, unlike the beginning instrumental of “Les Iris”, there is a sense of consonance throughout. However, the moments of dissonance in “Les Iris” lead to a more engaging and emotional experience. This is something that Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
is rather great at invoking.
The emotional qualities of the music itself are frequent and evident. Each layer of music serves a purpose, and it seems that each chord that is played is played with conviction. Therefore, the music is engaging, and can easily be a mode for introspect and emotion to escape the recesses of the listener's mind. The cooing, the lo-fi distortion, the layers of music, and the rhythmic proficiency mesh together aptly to create this effect. Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
is obviously heartfelt, tranquil, and bold, and though there are the minor flaws, Alcest has crafted an album that provides the listener with a serial of heartfelt compositions.