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Romain Collin — Tiny Lights...
(XM Records no#, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-01-03

Tiny Lights... Cover art

Romain Collin’s Tiny Lights… is a release that is very hard to summarize. Some parts are beautifully orchestrated chamber works with piano and strings: others veer into electronic rock with quirky synthesizers, electronic drums, and insistent electric guitars; at times it’s high-tech progressive rock along the lines of Gösta Berlings Saga or Panzerpappa. The group is nominally a piano trio with Collin on piano (plus Moog Taurus bass synth and vocals), Obed Calvaire on drums (and electronic percussion), and Matthew Stevens on electric guitar, though the end result sounds nothing like a piano trio. While all the tunes are built around Collin’s piano, his parts are mostly composed, and it is Stevens’ guitar that gets to veer off with mangling effects, atonal lines, and unexpected detours. The one thing that’s constant throughout all the album’s moods is the intelligence and appeal of the compositions. Collin does have a background in jazz, but Tiny Lights… doesn’t sound like jazz at all — and that’s alright. Good music doesn’t need genre labels, and I don’t see why anyone should criticize this music because it ignores their expectations. Every track has a distinct identity and mood, and every one of them is a gem.

Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Romain Collin

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