Week 44 album review overview

Dozens of new albums arrive every week to Maxazine’s editors. Too much to listen to all of them, let alone review them. One review each day means a lot of albums are left around. This is a sin. This is why we publish an overview of the albums that reach our editors in short reviews every Sunday.

Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxymore

“Oxymore” is Jean-Michel Jarre’s No. 22 album. It is a concept album dedicated to the French composer Pierre Henri, who passed away in 2017. Henri pioneered the music of “Musique concrète”, music composed from a group of vocal recordings. Originally, “Oxymore” was intended to be a collaboration between Henry and Jarre, but unfortunately was overtaken by Henry’s death. Jarre used sounds already recorded by Henry for this project. “Oxymore” has 11 tracks including the title track and the more attractive “Synthy Sisters”. What a great music! The single ‘Brutalism’ was released in a remix version with Martin Gore from Depeche Mode. Oxymore comes with a special ear blend 5.1 that will blow your mind! (Jean Francken) (8/10) (Sony / Colombia)

Dave Bronze – Back to Arda

Versatile guitarist Dave Bronze also drew inspiration from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” stories. Even if you’re not familiar with this book, Dave knows how to charm you with this album quite a bit. It combines various guitars, Celtic influences, folk elements and light classical music. Although there are certainly touches of rock intertwined, this album exudes a laid-back vibe. Also in the modest parts there are sometimes too many layers and/or details. Singing and (sometimes complicated) music form the ultimate balance. This also applies to the tools themselves. The sound quality is high, inviting you for intense listening. “Return to Arda” is near perfection, and may be the best album of 2022. (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (9/10) (Special production)

Blaudzun – Heavy Flowers – 10th Anniversary Edition (Black Friday 22)

Ten years ago, Blaudzun’s third album, Heavy Flowers, was released, which remained in the album charts for six consecutive months. Now, ten years later, that’s over 60 weeks later, and the record without merit hasn’t led to Johannes Sigmond (Blaudzun’s) final breakout. To celebrate this breakthrough, a special edition vinyl RSD Black Friday has now been released. Was it necessary to completely re-release the album? The name “heavy flowers” indicates the deterioration of the body, but in this new version we can better talk about the extension of life. In addition to the original album, there are live releases with Amsterdam Symfoniëtta, live recordings at Lowlands, AB in Brussels, Paard in The Hague, and a TV recording at Vrije Sounds. Great for tough audiences, but in fact, the song Midnight Room that Blaudzun performed alongside Ane Brun during Lowlands 2012 was really interesting. And that was actually on the “tour version” of the album, which isn’t much different from this one. This is only nice for those who gave a concert or real fans who want to have it all. No mind, sin. (Norman van den Wildenburg) (5/10) (V2)

Dry cleaning – excavation work

With the song Stumpwork, the band Dry Cleaning released their second South London post-punk album. The unique feature of the band is the use of spoken words instead of traditional songs. Florence Shaw looks like Susan Vega and Lou Reed’s misunderstood, crazy love. The music is original, modern and makes you happy. The lyrics are funky and too loud for a post-punk band. Another advantage. The album contains 11 songs and is therefore very short. What an inspiration. You need to hear this. With more catchy Gary Ashby, the band is, as far as I’m concerned, a candidate for Song of the Year. (Jan Vranken) (8/10) (4AD Ltd)

Personal Trainer – Big Love Blanket

The personal trainer has gained a strong living reputation in recent years. A personal trainer show is often called a ritual rather than a show. Transferring it to the registry is not easy. Nevertheless, the Amsterdam project is succeeding strongly. The indie rock band, enthusiastic, and sometimes Beatlesque, is releasing its debut album. Sometimes you may forget that Personal Trainer is a Dutch band. Heavy production, but nothing on it. Big Love Blanket became an album with which the band could conquer the world. Anyone who hasn’t seen the band live before will be instantly excited about the album and that’s what the album is for, right? Featured songs like The Lazer, Key of Ego, and Rug Busters, straight from the ’70s, can become crowd favorites, you can count on that. The personal trainer has also proven to be a hit after a great series of live shows (Norman van den Wildenberg) (8/10) (Industry)

Personal Trainer - Big Love Blanket

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