So, quite some time ago now, a dude by the name of Tristan Clopet got in touch with me to let me know about his tunes. He even sent me a bad-ass shirt, which is undoubtedly the most comfortable shirt I have ever owned. His emails were personal, and weren’t just mass mailouts spammed to every music blogger under the sun.
In other words, he did everything right.
Unfortunately, he caught me during my “time off blogging” period, which meant that I let this post slip by. In fact, the post this was originally meant to be was about a completely different release, the EP “Duende”. Since then though, Tristan Clopet & The Juice have recorded and released the new EP, “Purple”. No one can say dudes aren’t working hard enough.
So here then, is my look at their new EP, “Purple”.
To be honest, there’s something about this release that – like Duende before it – feels somewhat unsettled. Each track, when taken individually, is really good. But when put together, as a whole release? I’m just not sure it gels well enough together. There’s a wide variety of styles incorporated on “Purple”… there are hints of Jeff Buckley at times (So Alive), and then some old-school Chili Peppers thrown in there (Proximity Bomb). But when you’re throwing in different styles into a mix, it takes a skilled production to keep the narrative going from the beginning of a release to the end. And I’m just not sure it’s pulled off here.
The thing is, while I really do think each of these songs on the 6-song EP rock, it’s really two that stand out head and shoulders above the rest for me; both “So Alive” and “Love and a Question” are among some of my favourite tunes of 2010, which is obviously saying a lot. Part of that is obviously just a question of personal taste (I’m sure other people who were more into the frenetic tunes might point at “Proximity Bomb as being their top pick)… but another significant part of it is that, it seems to me, that this is when Tristan and the boys are being their most honest.
I don’t know why (and I’m sure Tristan could come past and lambaste me if I’m wrong here), but something tells me that the boys probably find tunes like “So Alive” and “Love and a Question” well… too easy. Because they really are that talented. It’s almost like they hesitate to record tunes like that because they don’t want people to pigeonhole them into what some could argue is “easy-listening” music. Because those two tunes certainly are easy listening… they glide over your ears like velvet.
Doesn’t mean they aren’t kickass though.
Anyway, that’s my review. I’ve struggled to write this one because, when I listen to the songs on their own, I struggle to find fault. But taken together, it just doesn’t quite seem to reach those heights that I desperately hope it will. And make no mistake… I hold out high hopes for these guys.
I’ve included two tunes as tasters below; “Love and a Question” (utterly sublime), and “Proximity Bomb” (sheer abandonment). Take a listen, and draw your own conclusions.
Tristan Clopet’s EP, “Purple”, can be downloaded here, for… well, whatever you like, really. If you choose to pay more than $5 though, you get access to 3 kickass live tunes. So do the right thing.