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Julian Julien - Strange CD (album) cover


Julian Julien


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 19 ratings

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4 stars "Strange" is the second album of French composer Julian Julien, a truly talented musician who also chooses the correct people to work with. For this 200 release, besides Julien, there are at least five guest musicians who make this album possible, sharing their talent with the instruments that will produce the eclectic sound "Strange" offers. The album features twelve compositions that make a total time of 48 minutes.

It opens with "Leh" which has a violin since the very first second, later tabla and sitar join, making a mid-east tune that let us fly to distant places. This first piece is beautiful, yet sorrowful; an excellent introductory track. "Cirque" has some strings in the first seconds and then all of a sudden changes, keyboards produce new shadows and moods. This track could be used as the background of a weird movie scene, like some surreal circus, showing in one side the happiness that clowns must share, and in the other hand, the sadness those clowns have behind their disguise. Hope you get me.

"Charlotte" has weird keyboard tunes that are accompanied by tabla and sitar, making once again that mid-east sound, combined with a European flavor. There is later a great violin, and a curious child-like sound. "What's democratie?" is a wonderful composition that is closer to the world-music realm. It honestly reminds me a bit of Thievery Corporation, a band that has nothing to do with progressive rock, but that also takes different cultural elements that are represented in music. Here we can listen to a cool rhythm made by percussion, while a female chorus sings and piano and guitar background complement it. At half the track there is a change, the music slows down, a tense atmosphere is kept by keyboards while strings make it gentler. Later it returns, and finishes as it began.

"Tinananan" is a shorter track with a nice mixture of world and electronic music, the sitar and female voice take us to India, but with always a fresh sound. "Le Caquou" is another feast of Indian and European music, I like these compositions and how Julien combines different cultures and uses different elements to create such a good music. In "Sophie" the electronic sound predominates and leads, while percussion and flute make their appearance later.

"Cosmos" is one of the longer tracks here. It starts with violin and then percussion and keyboards join and produce a soft, delicate rhythm that is delicious. Later it is progressing little by little, adding elements while the seconds pass and increasing the energy. Very good song! "Planete" is a weaker track, with a chill-out mood, without leaving the world-music rhythm.

The longest composition is "Strange", reaching the seven minute mark. It is a very rich track because it gathers everything this album has offered so far. Here we can listen to violin, sitar and nice percussions that show the mid-east, Indian flavor of the music, while piano put a jazzy mood on it. Later it is developing passages and adding new elements, so in a place the electronic music is shown here, but not as obvious as in other tracks. Here I also like the bass sound, which I had not perceived before.

"Nocturne Indien" is a very cool song that reminds me a bit of the opener track of this album. The elements used are practically the same, Indian-like music and in the end electronic tunes. The final track is "No Name" which adds a soft and peaceful mood made by keyboards and accompanied by winds and percussion. A very good closer!

After having listened to Julien's two solo albums and his live one with Fractale, I can say I have the arms wide open to his upcoming projects, since I have enjoyed each and every of them, because the music is simply excellent. My final grade, four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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