Jean-Michel Blais – Dans ma main (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 46:01 minutes | 427 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.
Jean-Michel Blais paints intimate portraits of human vulnerabilities—sleep, illness, uncertainty, anger—on a captivating second album. His delicate piano compositions are fertile with musical references to, among others, Leo Sayer, Mendelssohn, and Radiohead (“roses”), and are blended with subtle electronic, vocal, and ambient dance effects. In “god(s),” Blais explores the idea of religious harmony with textures rich in Eastern flavor, while “a heartbeat away” ponders our mortality with music that reflects, races, and finally rests. The title track both reassures and unnerves, while ‘’sourdine” is a haunting meditation on our nighttime realms.
A 31 year-old Canadian, Jean-Michel Blais is no stranger to the neoclassical stage. After a first album bearing the sober title “II”, on Caroline Distribution, this offering consists of a new collection of tracks, (most of which have already been released separately over recent weeks) which are possessed of an irrepressible lyricism. On board his piano, which he has transformed into a magical music box, he travels with the winds, following the currents of his own insatiable creativity. In the middle, Blind, perhaps the most seductive track of these forty-five minutes (alongside sourdine…), immerses us in an ideal vision of a music which mixes acoustics and machines into a soothing and velvety whole. god(s) takes us somewhere else, to church perhaps: but the return of synths shows that Jean-Michel Blais might perhaps have different gods in mind. igloo could have been a spiritual, even pantheist, track, but Blais, who isn’t above a little caustic wit, is quite urban about it: the “igloo” in question is a reference to contemporary cities, full of “caverns”, where everything is stacked over everything else. Henceforth, Blais’s name will be synonymous with unique sonic flavours. But there is something here of that bitter, fraternal, soft and sensual melancholy that runs through much of North American music, and which permeates the sonic spaces of a Copland (Quiet City) or a Bernard Herrmann (Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro) and the obstinate figures of a Steve Reich (The Four Sections) or the curling wisps of one of the most imaginative representatives of Canadian pop, like Patrick Watson ― think of the latter’s Lighthouse where we find that same vision of the instrument, as if stripped of its hammers. Jean-Michel Blais takes his time, discreetly. Under his elegant veneer, he knows how to be tenacious: his quotations (from the entrancingly slow movement of Rachmaninov’s Second Concerto, for example, on roses) make for salutary and soothing escapes. Blais is holding out his hand to you. It would be rude to turn him down. – Pierre-Yves Lascar
01. forteresse 01:56
02. roses 05:46
03. outsiders 04:59
04. dans ma main 04:12
05. blind 05:40
06. god(s) 02:34
07. igloo 04:34
08. sourdine 04:54
09. a heartbeat away 06:10
10. chanson 05:12