Pioneers of a New Generation: Technicolor

14 February 2016 in Misc -

Technicolor by Leo Vincent.

I’d like to take the time to review my friend Leo Vincent’s new album Technicolor, in which I contribute very lightly on its last track as a singer. I believe him to be a very talented songwriter and therefore cannot miss this chance to praise his unbelievable work.

As a multi-instrumentalist like myself, Leo plays almost all instruments on his album by himself, quite impressively, with the exception of drums. Knowing how hard it is to record an album by oneself, I admire his perseverance to get his music out. I just wanted to state this out, before I even review any musical elements of Technicolor.

Leo is known for his soundtracks on many independent films, exhibitions and commercials. He can be very instrumental but nonetheless he also shares his emotions through his moody voice. All in all, he has this unique ability to set a melancholic mood, and this album is no exception.

As a classically-trained musician, he carries a baggage of compositional knowledge. Having a similar background, I can testify that there is this mixed feeling about what you learn at the conservatory that comes to life. On one hand, you respect the traditional approach to music theory and classical music but on the other hand you feel this need to revolt against this conformism.

The result is pop/rock music with a hint of clever arrangements and melodies. I strongly believe that the true force of a great songwriter is to know when not to use complexity (while being aware of it). And this is what I hear in Technicolor.

In my opinion, I have to say that the best cut of the album is definitely “One Last Time”. The two voices complement each other so well by forming a coherent duality as much in the songwriting as in the arrangement. The song builds up very nicely when the drums switch to double time resulting in a smooth climax.

My personal favorite is “Sweet Illusion” because it reminds me of beginnings of classic rock songs with its staple chord progression and blend of instrumentation. The harmonized and doubled lead guitars in the intensive passage of the song reminds me of the bagpipes in AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ’N’ Roll)”. The Mixolydian mode Vincent uses in several of these songs can very well become his staple lead guitar scale.

Another familiar musicality that I hear is in “Sweety”. A strangely recognizable Pink Floyd sonority that I enjoy. A hint of “Wish You Were Here”, a drop of “Mother” but French enough to stand on its own (maybe someday he will adopt the “English way” and hang on in quiet desperation).

Overall, the melodies are very well-crafted making certain songs hard to forget (in a good way!). The arrangements and compositions are clever but from time to time track lengths fall short in my opinion. I’ve caught myself waiting for extra final choruses many times, deceived by abrupt endings. On a personal note, I found the drums too modern sounding and monotone between songs on the mixing aspect.

Nonetheless, Technicolor is very much anchored in today’s pop/rock sounds and the shorter track edits fit the current needs of music. Short streamable and radio-friendly single edits. The album has a good balance of heavier and softer songs featuring three different languages. I have no doubts that this record has the potential of becoming a success should it receive greater public attention.

As for the bonus track, I will let you guys review it and share your comments below. All I can say is that you came to the wrong place.

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