dimanche 30 juin 2013

Run From Cover – Burning Bridges (2011) ENGLISH

Or… when someone suggests me to take Road A and I decide to go for Road B.

A few months ago, one of SoulFound Entertainment’s partners spotted one of my articles about Imagine Dragons on Twitter and told me that Goodnight Argent, one of their bands, did a cover of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”. So obviously, I went on their website to have a look at it. On that page was also another band’s covering Elbow’s song “Grounds For Divorce”, named Run From Cover. Knowing (and loving) Elbow, I watched the video. Both covers were good so I checked these bands’ other songs through their websites and YouTube. To make a story short and no offense to Goodnight Argent’s talent… I ended up being more interested in Run From Cover’s music.

Naturally, the few songs I found on the Internet weren’t soon enough to fulfill my musical needs. Sadly, I couldn’t find their album anywhere (never-ending repeated frustration!)… except on iTunes. So I finally made the big jump I had always avoided to make sure my bank account wouldn’t drop below 0€ and became an “iTuner”. Now you all know whose artist was the subject of my first iTunes purchase…

The first video I saw was “Take Me Down”, superb visual work with bullying as main theme of the video. Seeing that girl being bullied by another school girl and that guy being harassed by his boss is something you can’t hardly not being touched by. Most of the time, things get better when growing up and you end up discovering some strength you never thought you had in you. Or finding a way to escape the hardness of life and forget about all your troubles for a moment, whether it’s through dance, air guitar or… music.


“How many times will I fall for these lines?” says singer Zac Mason in this song. My answer: I fell for Run From Cover’s lines… every time. Guess that’s what happens when you write lyrics that speak easily to other people. Hearing someone singing things you may have experienced/felt yourself at a moment of your life always helps… Add some good music notes to get these lyrics additional consistence and you’ve got a winning song.
When it comes to winning songs, “Burning Bridges” has quite a few ones, which was probably the reason why it took me months to write this article. “Good album, great music, nice lyrics, good singer… absolutely love it. Buy it!” is quite a bit short for an article, I think. :D
Six months ago, I wrote this on a piece of paper, for future use:
“‘Follow your heart, I’ll see you there’… Well I followed my heart. After listening very carefully at ‘Burning Bridges’, I knew quite fast that I’d write lines about this album and this band. ‘Cos they damn deserved it for giving me a bunch of emotions…”
This was supposed to be the closing line of the article and these words are still very true to this day but I may be now able to give you a little bit more than this…

I love music. Don’t play any though: first time I had a guitar in my hands, I managed to break a string that almost blinded me… First and last try at becoming a musician. :D
I still love beautiful music instruments and love even more listening to the notes coming out of them. E-ve-ry note if that’s possible. It’s a thrilling experience to “feel” all the little things in a song. Want one example? Paul McCartney’s “Dance Tonight”. Starting with drums and mandolin then comes some bass and keyboards before letting electric guitar joining the “team”. Awesome! Too much music all at once and for 4 minutes doesn’t do any good to songs!
Run From Cover seems aware of that: all instruments are perfectly used on every track and found their way through the melody to make a good song. No ego war here: all members are capable of waiting for their turn in the song.
One perfect example is “I’ll See You There”. I even have a video to show you how this works.


Did you watch carefully? Zac Mason starts singing the song while playing piano and all the other guys stand still, waiting. 00:52, Zac is joined by Michael Bjur and Andrew Luttrell, respectively in charge of drums and bass. At 1:32 and on the chorus, Philip Sanchez joins them by playing acoustic guitar. By the time Stephen Donley plays his electric guitar riff, we’re at one third of the song and he had to stand still for almost 2 minutes before showing his guitar skills. But you know, the song wouldn’t be that beautiful if it had huge guitar riffs in it…
That doesn’t mean Lady Electric Guitar doesn’t have her place on the front stage. A song starting with a great guitar riff and drum beats is my favorite type of songs and guitar is the lead actress in the track that was my instant love-at-first-sight of the album, “Dangerous Way”. Good rhythm that makes you wanna constantly tap your feet on the floor and a great guitar solo… all I need to smile! Thanks!

To me, the strength of a band resides in “being one” while acknowledging each member’s talent: to be honest, all songs of “Burning Bridges” shows Run From Cover’s band unity but also that every instrument used on the songs (and therefore the people behind them!) are right where they should be.
You sometimes have that feeling while listening to one particular song but rarely on an entire album. I guess that’s why this album seems powerful to me.
The album also has another particularity: easy-to-remember melodies that stick in your mind for quite a long time. It took me hours to stop humming  “Day of the Dead”… only to go on the same merry-go-round trip with “Waiting on my Heart”!

Zac Mason’s voice is the final “instrument” that makes a Run From Cover song complete and alive. Mason’s voice is full of power on “Burning Bridges” and fills songs like “Time Will Tell” with f soul and tenderness. Very special A+ note for “On Your Side”, whether it is on the voice or the music. The song starts slowly with Zac singing and piano notes… The music goes crescendo, gaining power as seconds go by… Perfect and amazing song to end the album. I won’t lie to you: as soon as the final note came, it was quite hard for me to find my breath again.
If Mr Mason and his band mates ever wondered what their music can do to people, I can assure them that they definitely managed to take me away from all worries and pains. For 42 minutes, they took me… somewhere else. Kind of like… in another universe. Theirs. And I like that universe! 

The band’s lineup has changed over the course of years but I’m not much worried about the future: three of their members (Zac Mason, Stephen Donley and Andrew Luttrell) were there from the very start and weirdly enough, I have the feeling that they’ll do what it takes to make sure the band’s spirit remains the same. So… welcome to Zac “Cuda” Case and enjoy it!

From left to right : Zach Mason (vocals & piano), Stephen Donley (Guitars), Andrew Luttrell (Bass) & Zac Case (Drums)
©SoulFound Entertainment LLC 2011
“Burning Bridges” is the band’s first album and Run From Cover is not attached to one of these giant music companies like Sony Music, Columbia, Warner Music, Def Jam etc. They’re with SoulFound Entertainment, a company working on a small scale. With high quality. It’s not always easy making quality work if you don’t have the opportunity to spend the much necessary time in the studio. Studio time is though not a 100% guaranty: sometimes a band’s first album doesn’t get the quality it truly deserves due to a lack of good technical gear/people attached to that studio. Not the case here. I’ve listened to the album very carefully and can’t speak evil of its production: the producer and sound, mixing and mastering engineers all deserve 6 stars out of 5 for their work on this album!
Quite a big slap in the face of all these big music companies, isn’t it? 

Over the last few months, many other artists have released new material (Suede, Miles Kane, The Veils, Eric Clapton, Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds To Mars, Texas, Stereophonics…) and I came back from my London trip with a suitcase full of CDs (goodbye suitcase: it died on the way back home… :D ) so you can imagine the amount of songs to listen it may represent. Despite this, there always comes a time when I come back to at least one song of “Burning Bridges”. 

Last but not least, it seems Run From Cover guys have quite a good sense of humor. Take a look at that video… but be sure to watch it ‘til the end. For 3 minutes, I thought there were two singers in that band. Silly me!

I know the band finds inspiration in many European bands like Keane, Coldplay or U2 and I’ve read somewhere they like our European musical culture and would like to come in Europe to share their music with us. If they make their way here and come to a place nearby, I’d definitely like to see them live.
I’d also like other people, wherever they are in the world, to get the “feel” while listening to “Burning Bridges”. The real “feel”… you know, that one that makes you smile, the one that makes you dance all over the place or clap in your hands, THAT one!
I wish Run From Cover’s guys to spread their music as far as they can. Also need to thank them for the emotions and patiently wait for a second album. Fingers crossed, guys!

Well… since it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, I may use that prerogative and tell you I may have judged Goodnight Argent a bit too quickly. Earlier today, I checked their latest video and actually like the song! It’s VERY different from Run From Cover but has a very positive vibe and nice energy… Will have to keep an eye on these ones.


PS - For the record, my bank account is still above 0€… and I’m much richer in music culture. I’ve always said music would be the death of the “financial” me but in the end, that’s what has always kept me alive so… 

Run From Cover’s website : http://www.runfromcover.com
Run From Cover’s Twitter : https://twitter.com/runfromcover
Run From Cover’s Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Runfromcover
“Burning Bridges” on iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/burning-bridges/id440032755     

Tracklist :
The Wire
Waiting On My Heart
Take Me Down
Day Of The Dead
Burning Bridges
I’ll See You there
Time Will Tell
Dangerous Way
On Your Side

vendredi 21 juin 2013

Le top 10 des chansons bannies jusqu'à ma mort - Partie 1

Voici donc la première partie de ce top 10 des chansons qui sont pour moi absolument insupportables à entendre… Vous remarquerez que mon chiffrage est un peu particulier : c’est tout simplement que, quand on (n’) aime (pas), on ne compte pas…  Rien que d’énoncer ces titres m’a fait perdre mon sens de l’énumération…

1) Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un m’a dit (2002)
Soyons honnête, Madame Sarkozy est à l’origine de cette chronique. Je ne sais pas combien de fois on m’a dit aujourd’hui « Ca y est, elle a accouché ! ». Et moi de répondre aussi vite « M’en fiche ! ». J’ai même été jusqu’à répondre hier soir à un ami qu’elle aurait accouché d'un canari que j'en aurais toujours rien à battre.
Je me suis par contre dit qu’elle aura cumulé dans l’art de me taper sur les nerfs… La première fois ayant été avec cette chanson qui a pourtant eu un succès fou à l’époque.
Je n’ai rien contre les chansons minimalistes mais un ptit peu de peps vocal n’a jamais tué personne. Ce ton limite monocorde a eu ma peau…

1) Stromae – Alors on danse (2009)
Alors lui ! Lui ! Même combat que pour Carla… Quand il entame son « Alors on danse », j’ai juste envie de l’attraper par les bras et de lui dire : « Mais enfin… SECOUE-TOI !! ».
La rythmique de la chanson est sympa et permet de lâcher de l’énergie mais… non. Résultat : j’ai toujours l’impression qu’un ingénieur son avait à l’origine voulu faire une bonne blague et s’était amusé à échanger les plages musique et voix de deux chansons différentes.
Bon, ceci dit, j’ai vu quelques interviews du jeune Stromae et de prime abord, il a l’air sympa. C’est pas sa faute si la chanson m’horripile… et quelque part, ça me fait plaisir qu’un ptit gars de chez nous ait su faire un petit bout de chemin jusqu’à l’hexagone français.

1) Brigitte Bardot – Harley Davidson (1967)
Avec elle, c’est pas compliqué et vite résumé : tout me gonfle… Sidonie, Bonnie & Clyde, Coquillages et Crustacés sont autant de désastres musicaux qui me font me recroqueviller dans un coin en position fœtale. Choc post-traumatique, quoi !
Autant sa carrière cinématographique ne me dérange pas (elle était toute mignonne dans « Le Trou Normand » avec Bourvil), autant je ne comprends pas la cruauté de certains à s’être bornés à vouloir continuer à la faire chanter…
J’aurais été Messieurs Harley et Davidson, j’aurais attaqué Brigitte en justice pour génocide mécanique ! Bon, OK, ça n’aurait pas été possible puisque les fondateurs de la célèbre firme étaient déjà morts lorsque la chanson est sortie mais… c’est quand même un truc à vous faire sortir de votre tombe, cette chanson !!

1) Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan (1979)
J’aime bien Marianne Faithfull en général… Par exemple, je suis très fan de « As Tears Go By », la chanson que Keith Richards et Mick Jagger ont écrite pour elle.
Mon dégoût de cette chanson vient sans nul doute de ce son électronique permanent qui accompagne la chanson et qui me hérisse le poil.

1) Jeanne Moreau – Le Tourbillon de la Vie (1962)
Cauchemar auditif et visuel.
« On s'est connus, on s'est reconnus ; on s'est perdus de vue, on s'est r'perdus d'vue ; on s'est retrouvés, on s'est réchauffés, Puis on s'est séparés ».
Tout ça pour ça. Tout ça pour une gonzesse qui n’est pas fichue de se décider et qui joue avec les pieds de deux types trop bêtes pour se rendre compte qu’il aurait fallu dire à la mademoiselle : « Bon, dis… tu te décides, oui ? ».
Un des pires souvenirs de mon cours de cinéma à l’université, le film « Jules et Jim ». Avec « Le Cuirassé Potemkine ». Mais Eisenstein a des circonstances atténuantes, lui : le jour où on a étudié son film, j’avais 39 de fièvre et la grippe.

On se retrouve bien vite pour la suite et fin de ce top 10 très personnel...