Friday, 15 February 2013

Avant La Lettre Try To Regain Momentum



The first album Belief seemed to give Avant La Lettre some publicity. Single 'Magic' was doing fine and got them air-play and awareness. Unfortunately two out of five members left the band and they couldn't make use of the momentum that had been created. Better make a new album fast and try again with that one, they must have thought. And so now there's already the successor In My Time, which they presented in Paradiso recently.

Avant La Lettre - In My Time (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)

It sounds like the band from Amsterdam got rid of the label "exciting guitar band" they got stuck on a few years ago. This is probably the result of the departure of their fellow band members and the resulting change in line-up. Or maybe the reason for their departure? Anyway, In My Time sounds like a true pop record. Gone are the rougher sound and need to experiment, but there are true pop songs with head and tail instead. Clearly they have put in time to write good songs and arrangements.

Those songs are all fine. Extensive use of electronics raise the feeling of the eighties. This is combined a lot with playful guitar riffs like in 'Postmodernity'. Halfway the mood is getting more heavy and darker with 'Hold On', 'Heart Beat' and 'Before/After'. Because of the slower tempo the album dozes off there. Fortunately they pick it up again in the cheerful 'Peace Sign' which has a nice hook. The jazzy title track 'In My Time' might just well be the most exciting track of the record. It is very welcome since excitement is what most songs lack a bit. And that's a shame since Avant La Lettre used to come up with a few surprises in the past.

Bottom line is that the threesome produced a fine pop album with songs that are pleasant to hear. Despite the fact that the lads stay on the safe side, in the end there's plenty to enjoy. Hopefully in the future we can expect some more unconventional work again. Maybe In My Time turns out to be a transitional album.



This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to In My Time on Spotify.



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