Album review overview: Sunship Balloon, Integrity, Ludovico Einaudi and more

Photo (c) Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Dozens of new albums arrive at Maxazine’s editorial staff every week. Way too many to listen to them all, let alone review them. It ensures that too many albums are left behind. And that’s a shame. That is why today we post an overview of albums that arrive at the editors in short reviews.

Papooz – Resonate

Papooz, the Parisian duo, presents the cheerful and summery album “Resonate”. Despite their French heritage, the duo masterfully weaves British elegance and American 1970s influences into their music, influenced by the Beatles, Beach Boys and Velvet Underground. The album promises a warm listening experience with hits such as “Resonate”, “Down By You” and “Don’t You Think It’d Be Nice?”. The Parisians, known for their kitschy and summery video clips, have taken an extremely successful path with the album. Produced by the renowned Patrick Wimberly and with the collaboration of the talented American songwriter Jesse Harris, “Resonate” offers a harmonious and innovative sound experience. On “Resonate”, Papooz takes you on a musical journey that is both refined and refreshing. An album steeped in cheerful, summery and poppy sounds. (Elodie Renard) (8/10) (Half Awake Records)

Evan Nicole Bell – Runaway Girl

The young American Evan Nicole Bell is a songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. She plays a mix of (timeless) blues, rock, funk, soul and pop. “Runaway Girl” is her (digital) debut EP. Jimi Hendrix was one of her sources of inspiration. This can be heard in, among others, “Catfish Blues”. Evan’s guitar playing is cool, the rough edge of her voice comes out beautifully. This song actually ends too quickly. “Runaway Girl (radio edit)” is good, but the longer “Runaway Girl (extended)” is very good. The instruments and the (layered) vocals form a beautiful, surprising harmony. “Burn” has a cheerful flow. This poppy song seems a bit simpler instrumentally. Here she shows that she can sing sultrily as well as handle vocal power. Her versatility is clearly evident in this solo EP. A full album with musicians is planned for later this year. Evan Nicole Bell is a name to remember! (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (8/10) (Hummingbird Records)

Sunship Balloon – Real Humans

Sunship Balloon is a musical project formed by Dan Haggis and Tord Øverland-Knudsen, both members of the English rock band The Wombats. The project has quickly grown from a bedroom side project to an eclectic entity in its own right. With “Real Humans” they finally have a second album for their 2020 debut. Nice music that brings back memories of the late eighties and early nineties, with their vintage synthesizer sounds and vocals coloured with cool reverb. The opener “All the time in The World” is immediately the best song on the album. A bit Tears for Fears-esque in structure and feel, but really not at that level. All in all, quite a fun album for a weekday. (Jan Vranken) (6/10) (Sunship Balloon)

Ludovico Einaudi – Reflections

Ludovico Einaudi is a talented Italian composer and pianist. His unique mix of classical, minimalist and ambient music creates a beautiful, often introspective atmosphere. The compositions are minimal, almost classical. chamber music recorded with a microphone above a piano. The man has been very productive lately. At the end of last year, he released the beautiful soundtrack to the film “La Petite”, but now he has released an EP under the title “Reflections”. It wouldn’t surprise me if these were the ‘leftovers’ from the “La Petite”-sessions. Too good to throw away, he must have thought, and he was more than right. Rick Wakeman-esque new-age piano music. Very nice. (Jan Vranken) (8/10) (UMG Recordings)

Integrity – All Death is Mine, Total Damnation

Integrity is a band from Cleveland that makes hardcore punk that occasionally veers towards trash metal or industrial metal. This new album is extremely high in energy, no less than 19 tracks long. “Making over with the Devil” relies heavily on heavy riffs and continuously thundering drums. Wonderful for an evening of completely relieving yourself of the snot in front of your eyes. “Bark at the Moon” is another wonderfully unhinged racing monster of a track. Wonderful screams and roars. These men know where to get the mustard. For fans of heavy music, 2024 is off to a good start. Recommended! (Jan Vranken) (7/10) (Relapse Records)

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