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Monjoie — Love Sells Poor Bliss for Proud Despair
(Lizard , 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-12-22

Love Sells Poor Bliss for Proud Despair Cover art

Monjoie continue their fascination with and exploration of the Romantic poets. Whereas their previous album, In Thy Heart Inurn Me, they set poems by Keats, Blake, and Wordsworth to music, Love Sells Pure Bliss for Proud Despair features the five part "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats, five different poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and one poem by Lord Byron. The title of their new album is lifted from Shelley’s “The Flower that Smiles Today.” If you remember back to your high school English class you may remember studying “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” The urn seems to tell the reader that truth and beauty are one and the same. Monjoie took the five stanzas and composed separate pieces of music for each, all in the five minute range. Using a wide variety of instruments (classical guitar, acoustic guitar, low whistle, bass, organ, Mellotron, Mini Moog, drums, tampura, harmonium, hurdy gurdy, bouzuki, mandolin, etc.) Monjoie play a melancholy set of classical beauty that excels, especially on Part 3. Shelley’s five poems continue this romantic emotive trend, with a particular gothic vibe, as Shelley tended to focus on the brevity of things and that we are all doomed to die. The album closes with Lord Byron’s poem “She Walks in Beauty.” This poem praises and seeks to capture a sense of the beauty of a particular woman, comparing her to a lovely night with a clear starry sky, a harmonious "meeting" between darkness and light. Monjoie convey this sentiment through their upbeat love ballad. And what ties the entire album together is Alessandro Brocchi’s sombre vocals. For fans of intelligent introspective music.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Monjoie

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