13 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Purveyors of electro-pop lite and French-chic bangs, New York’s Au Revoir Simone have made progressively mature and engaging music, and on their third full-length release a slightly darker shade of melancholy prevails (fan David Lynch calls it “a joyous melancholy”). Not that they’re suppressing happy songs in favor of downbeat dirges, but their sweet, stark vocals and arrangements seem colored with a faint hue of sadness, or perhaps a more sage knowing, and it gives their music real legs. “All or Nothing” sputters to life with a Young Marble Giants drum machine track, leading to gliding synth lines and sibilant shakers, a lonely and resigned dance rhythm hanging in the background. Should we dance, or sway in a mopey trance? Can we do a little of both? The collection moves with acrobatic grace, as when the enticing “Trace a Line” gurgles along on two thin strands of synth notes before blossoming into the bubbling carnival that is “Only You Can Make You Happy;” and when the sweetly somber “Take Me as I Am” segues into the post-punk jitters of “Anywhere You Looked.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Purveyors of electro-pop lite and French-chic bangs, New York’s Au Revoir Simone have made progressively mature and engaging music, and on their third full-length release a slightly darker shade of melancholy prevails (fan David Lynch calls it “a joyous melancholy”). Not that they’re suppressing happy songs in favor of downbeat dirges, but their sweet, stark vocals and arrangements seem colored with a faint hue of sadness, or perhaps a more sage knowing, and it gives their music real legs. “All or Nothing” sputters to life with a Young Marble Giants drum machine track, leading to gliding synth lines and sibilant shakers, a lonely and resigned dance rhythm hanging in the background. Should we dance, or sway in a mopey trance? Can we do a little of both? The collection moves with acrobatic grace, as when the enticing “Trace a Line” gurgles along on two thin strands of synth notes before blossoming into the bubbling carnival that is “Only You Can Make You Happy;” and when the sweetly somber “Take Me as I Am” segues into the post-punk jitters of “Anywhere You Looked.”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
91 Ratings

91 Ratings

paulmlyren ,

Best of the lot and more of the same (but in a really good way)

ARS fans will love this top to bottom. The arrangements are more lush, more dissonant and dense. The sounds are better built and realized, and they change more often during the course of the songs - they really hold your interest sonically. The production of Tom Monihan has not altered the sound of melancholy, rainy Sunday afternoons and shimmer that fans love so much, but he has changed their approach and attack I think. And he has certainly worked with them on their vocals and their harmonies to wonderful effect. Their lyrics are so well done here. So well written. It is the promise of the last album, The Bird of Music, and it's best tracks - Lark, The Way to There and A Violent Yet Flammable World - come to fruition. I have this on constant repeat at the moment, and am loving it every time around. There is such heartbreak here though. It never gets to be a downer; it never becomes depressing. It actually sounds so hopeful for being so sad. Who could have broken these beautiful girl's hearts so badly? The fool(s)! On the one hand how dare they make these pop darlings sad; on the other - thanks for doing it and giving us this album.

Standouts like Knight of Wands, The Last One (amazing!), Shadows, Tell Me, We Are Here...are just amazing slow builds that pull at you, and have evolved from first crushes and kisses to mature expressions of the same 10-15 years later. This, to me, a mildly rabid fan, is the best of their 3 albums. It trumps their last album in all categories. It is a subtle maturing of a group of friends with a different sound and feminine/girlie overlay into a band who are no longer the sum of their musical limitations - although they are still the product of them. It is an amazing album!

kyliebauerle ,

A Wonderful Find

I found Au Revoir Simone through Urban Outfitters, which is currently providing free download of Simone's song, Shadows, as well as songs from a variety of other artists. My first impression of Shadows was faint appreciation, which grew substantially in a very short period of time. Her voice is very light and sweet, in a way that reminds me of Dido. That, accompanied by delightfully quirky music and intriguing lyrics makes for a nice listen. I'm disappointed that more people don't know her music, because it really is addicting -- I find myself clicking the repeat button whenever I hear her. Worth your dollar.

dgcatlett ,

Awed by Still Night, Still Light

A bit more grown up & mature Au Revoir Simone but every bit as entrancing and breathtaking as ever. These girls are pure magic! :)

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