Julien Martinoïa 2016
French purveyor of heavy wisdom gets enlightened from the inside.
Self-releasing solo albums since 2005, multi-instrumentalist Julien Martinoïa ensures the circle won’t be unbroken by thematically linking his debut “Different Vision” to this album. With erstwhile externalizing gone to make room for inner expansion, “Leave You Now” may kick things off in a sad fashion, – sharp riffs smeared into dance daubs delivered by keyboards – but there’s a sense of freedom from here to “Already The End” that’s a largely acoustic finale which gains weight to imprint itself in the listener’s psyche.
Even though seven out of the ten pieces cross a 6-minute mark, the epic scope doesn’t outstay its welcome, “The Road” adding an orchestral ascent to the record’s tentative concept. It’s outlined in the piano-filled space between the progressive balladry of “No Destination” where vocals turn into an intimate velvet of a voice as if to contrast filigree guitar, and the reflective “I’m Fading” – with ivories on “It Can’t Be Enough” counting out time. The drift gets deliberately awkward in the many tempos of “Warm Wind” yet, ultimately, all this leaves exquisite cracks for the light to creep in and stay.
Slightly raw but mature work.