Monjoie — And in Thy Heart Inurn Me
(Lizard 0139, 2018, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-12-31
“And in thy heart inurn me” — and so closes John Keats’ poem “You Say You Love.” This last phrase is also the title of Italian band Monjoie’s fourth album, a concept album focussing on the English Romantic poets William Blake, John Keats, and William Wordsworth. The choice of poems, set to music, does not follow a specific historical or literary order. Instead band leader Alessandro Brocchi chose to present Blake’s conflicted relationship with religion and the meanings he gave to infinity, Keats’ alleged love without half measures, and Wordsworth’s elegant and delicate naturalistic design. The result is an engaging set of 15 dream pop songs, some more pop than dream. All of these melancholic songs born from voice and piano, evolve into different directions. Song in unaccented English, Alessandro’s beautifully mellow tenor contributes a suitably gothic ambience. Accompanying Alessandro are keyboards, guitars, bouzuki, flutes, musette, ocarina, organ, synths, bass, percussion, violin, flugelhorn, bass clarinet, double bass, and drums. The flugelhon on a couple of tracks lends a jazzy element similar to Chuck Mangione. Others explore 60s and 70s prog / psych, dancehall steam punk, gothic, and even Italian prog rock. Some of the album highlights include a dreamy rendition of Blake’s “London,” the darkly gothic interpretation of Wordsworth’s “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal,” the 70s Italian prog reading of Keats’ “The Day Is Gone” that reminded me of Le Orme’s Felona and Sorona, and the beautifully gothic take on Blake’s “Introduction” calling to mind This Mortal Coil, Unto Ashes, and perhaps even Gryphon. Overall a wonderfully sad album that will not make you sad.
Related artist(s): Monjoie
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