Monday, February 22, 2010
REVIEW PRAISES WONDERS OF PROMIS' ALBUM "LIFE IS GRAND!"
Spirited Euro-dance pop *****
By HollywoodKen – Feb 3, 2010
On his fourth album, Chilean-born singer-songwriter Jose Promis takes his signature brand of cabaret pop to new heights. Working with Turkish producer Ayhan Sahin and an array of multi-ethnic session players (Turkish guitarist/songwriter Emre Yilmaz, New York singer Karine Hannah, Greek performer Lina Koutrakos, Ukranian guitarist Gene Blank, etc.), Promis ups the ante, allowing his usually modest songs to be given the full-production makeover. The results are thrilling, adding extra umph to what was already an exciting sound. At times bringing to mind the cabar-tronica (cabaret electronica) of the U.K.’s The Real Tuesday Weld, the album soars with sitars, guitars and flutes blending effortlessly with drum loops and other computerized wizardry. Thematically, Promis continues to exorcise his demons (as on the thrilling “When I Was Drunk and You Were High”) and offers up nuggets of wisdom gleaned on his experiences. Sahin’s Middle Eastern and Spanish flavorings spice up the mid-tempo seductiveness of tracks like “Lovesick” (a lovely duet with Karine Hannah, channeling Kate Bush at her most siren-esque), the lover kiss-off anthem “Farewell My Heart” and the Pet-Shop Boys-influenced title track, while Promis slows things way down for ballads “One Kind Word” and the particularly lovely “I Saw A Flower.” There’s also a wonderful debut with Turkish singer Emre Yilmaz on the powerful “Home.” Though lead-off track “I Promise” might be some’s choice for a single, it’s the thrilling “When I Was Drunk and You Were High” that is really the standout track here. This is one of those perfect crossover tracks that introduces exciting unsung talents to the world, mixing spoken word lyrics and world flavor with an electronic dance beat for nearly perfect results. All in all, “Life is Grand” is a major step forward for Promis, whose talents have never been more obvious. Do yourself a favor and check it out.