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orpheusinredvelvet notquite
Artist: Orpheus in Red Velvet
Title: Not Quite
Genre: Synth Pop
Release Date: 26th April 2013
Label: Self-Released

Album Review

Once again a band I've never heard of... and their press release being in German only, I don't have a lot of information available. ORPHEUS IN RED VELVET (ORV) - as his favourite artists like David Bowie, Martin Gore or Claudia Brücken (ouch... you place the bar a bit high folks) - is releasing a tribute album, most of the cover songs being some obscure songs. I must confess I didn't know most of the songs and as such, can hardly refer to originals. The album starts with ‘Will You’, a cover from Hazel O'Connor, in a very Vince Clarke way reminding a bit of YAZOO/ ERASURE's soft side in both, the production, synths sounds and the voice, very Andy Bell alike. ‘Foil’, from OOMPH!, continues on the slow tempo pace, but with a darker feel, some heavier beats, choirs and “kind of” guitars rushing in. We're more in the MESH-alike area here.

‘Fragile’ from TECHNOIR follows in the same soft tempo / dark mood. Of course, YAZOO's ‘Winter Kills’ is more familiar and it's very, very, very nicely sung although the cover in itself doesn't really bring anything surprising to the original song. But worth it just by the vocal performance... really! Back to the unknown, at least to me, with a cover from SEPTEMBER, ‘Cry For You’, with a piano gimmick inspired by BRONSKI BEAT's ‘Smalltown Boy’. Don't know it was already in the original or smartly brought in by OIRV. But in any case, it works pretty well. ‘My Death’, a famous Jacques Brel song, covered already in the past by Scott Walker and Marc Almond. To be honest, I mainly know this song from Marc Almond, and the ORV version reminds a lot of it. Just as ‘Winter Kills’, one of the best vocal performances.

A second tribute to Vince Clarke follows, with ERASURE this time. Not really surprising as the lead singer sounds a lot like Bell. Funny though... as ERASURE's one was a piano/ vocal song, ORV took a chance on doing a fully electronic production and it works really well. Another original choice for a synth pop band is to pick up in the folk repertoire a song from Joan Baez, ‘Rejoice In The Sun’. Once again the influence of Clarke is everywhere! It could have been a pure ERASURE song. A bit more risky: walking in MESH shoes again for ‘Waiting For Someone’. That one, maybe because I'm a huge fan of MESH or because they were sticking too close to the original, fails to bring any interest to it. The album ends up on a nice and melancholic Billy MacKenzie tune, ‘And This She Knows’.

Overall, a pleasant album to listen to, but not the kind that neither I will listen a lot, nor I'll remember of in a couple of months, mainly because after a couple of songs, the low tempo and mellow mood kind of bored me a bit and the feeling of listening a bit the same song after a while. I'm sure that pure synth pop addicts can appreciate it, no doubt about it. So don't take my words to seriously. If you like early cool / soft / mellow / melancholic synth pop, you will certainly enjoy that one.


01. Will you? (Hazel O'Connor)
02. Foil (Oomph!)
03. Fragile (Technoir)
04. Winter kills (Yazoo)
05. Cry for you (September)
06. My death (Jacques Brel / Scott Walker)
07. Piano song (Erasure)
08. Rejoice in the sun (Joan Baez)
09. Waiting for someone (Mesh)
10. And this she knows (Billy Mackenzie)




Cover Picture

orpheusinredvelvet notquite


Music: 6
Sound: 8
Total: 7 / 10

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