as picked last week, i’m reviewing Coeur De Pirate’s self-titled 2008 record, well, Cœur De Pirate (which translates to “Pirate’s Heart”):

gotta love opening an album named “Cœur De Pirate” with Le long du large, “Along the Open Sea”, a track about sailing, and honestly sets up the contrast of the record, of grim or sinister lyrics against this bright cheery music. Comme des enfants, “Like Children”, is a nice back and forth and back type track, of being caught between lovers, haha. Fondu au noir, “Fade to Black” is p emo, ngl. the track is a little more in line with the lyrics here, but it’s still way more than you’d expect that shift to hint at. Corbeau (“Raven”) is also somber but feels more hopeful, musically. Berceuse (“Lullaby”) is uh. woof. musically, love the accordian here, feels like a nice track to dance to, ignoring the lyrics on this one. Intermission is a very beautiful piano track. extremely nice. Printemps (“Spring”) is nice in that it’s more a missed connection than a separation, and i really like the acoustic guitar and tambourine added to this one, very good track. Ensemble (“Together”) is p neat, love the bridge with the horns a ton here. La vie est alleurs (“Life Is Somewhere Else”) feels like a lounge singer track, haha. p nice pairing with Ensemble. Pour un infidèle (“For an Unfaithful Person”) is a pretty good song to bring a guest vocalist in, who does a very nice job here. Francis is an extremely sweet song about a sad boy. closing the album out, C’était salement romantique (“It Was Damn Romantic”), has a lot of that “well i knew it was bad for me” vibes that many of the other tracks, like Pour un infidèle, have. nice track to end it on, with the powerful strings in the bridge.

faves – Printemps
dislikes –

man her voice is so pretty. i’ve been known to get into a Regina Spektor album here or there and the combo of primarily piano driven accompaniment that primary frames a talented singer/songwriter is just really hard to get wrong, and i honestly kept thinking of Begin To Hope through my listens of this record.

that being said, i def felt the language barrier with this one. i def don’t speak French, and i REALLY had to rely on translations to get into the lyrics at all – not bad, but not something i could easily dig into. that being said, glad i did – my impression of the record before and after looking up translations vastly changed. it’s not uncommon to do a juxtaposition between lyrics and music but it is a constant here, a throughline of the entire record – the music is soft, tender, romantic, and the lyrics are consistently about suffering and separation. neat effect, and i’m certain it’s stronger with comprehension in the language.

the one thing that surprised me most was brevity on this record – only the closer breaks 3 minutes, and the whole 12 track album clocks in just over 31 minutes. i def don’t feel like anything’s cut or being rushed, which is always impressive to see.

on the whole, i enjoyed listening to this record, and there is some incredibly talented singing and piano on display the whole way through, but between the consistently grim lyrics and the language barrier to get there i had a rough time making a real connection.

Cœur de Pirate – 5/10

support the band by buying this record on Bandcamp

and that’s that! make sure to check out the other album that’s kicking off our weekly reviews, Tom Waits’ Glitter and Doom Live. the winner of this week’s suggestion pool is Green-House’s Six Songs For Invisible Gardens, so swing back by next Friday, Mar 25 for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (one suggestion per person pls, drawing will happen when the review goes up next Friday)