BERTRAND LOREAU: Let the Light Surround You (2022)
“Keep the box of Kleenex close by because you're going to need it!”
1 Journey that Never ends 8:18
2 Speak to Me 2:23
3 Breath of Life 1:33
4 By Whispering 2:50
5 Crystal Sea 10:01
6 You and Him 2:52
7 Walking Hand in Hand 2:05
8 Bright Black 3:24
9 A Sound is Born 2:13
10 Lead you Through the Dream 10:51
11 Sunrise in a Dull Day 6:48
12 Light Tears 4:36
13 Him and You 3:10
14 A Sound is Born (remix) 2:13
Bertrand Loreau is back at Spheric Music after having released his last 2 albums at Groove nl. If Anantayamo, with Frédéric Gerchambeau, presented us the more avant-garde side of Bertrand, and on the other hand Schatten und Lichter immersed us in his intimist ambiances with a flock of sensitive and delicate tracks. This is exactly what our ears are subjected to with this return of the French bard on the German label. LET THE LIGHT SURROUND YOU is the kind of album not to be listened to if you are going through a hard time, because the music doesn't give any respite to those tortured souls and to those who are in pain to live. Touching as usual, my friend Bertrand pays tribute to his mother who died recently. In fact, he imagines her in a world where love is like a light that surrounds her. And it is through the 14 titles of his last musical collection that he lets vibrate his emotions on delicate movements of sequences where enthrone melodious approaches sung by a more than sensitive synth. Keep the box of Kleenex close by because you're going to need it!
A mix of brassy synth waves and muffled explosions echo through the opening of Journey that Never ends, one of the few purely electronic tracks on LET THE LIGHT SURROUND YOU. The way it is built, one could think of the separation of the body and the soul for a last celestial journey. Sequences start to clash around the 2nd minute. Like auto-tampons, they dance in this surrealistic decor with a hesitant choreography, we move on, and we move back, when the synth seizes our ears with this tint of flute mixed to saxophone. A 3rd phase emphasizes a keyboard and its melancholy lost in a bank of orchestral mist. It sounds very Loreau, especially when Journey that Never ends and this keyboard courting the hybrid tone of this synth that will tenderly envelop our ears for the next 55 minutes of this new album of the bard from Nantes. Speak to Me begins with fluty breaths set in sequences that serve as a bed for a beautiful melody played on a keyboard. Sad and nostalgic, like this synth which cries in Breath of Life whereas By Whispering loops the loop offered with Speak to Me. The crystalline arpeggios that dance in Crystal Sea are of a magnetizing beauty. They tinkle like a jewel shining under the rays of a bright light and follow a progression that goes to the most absolute melancholy. The influences of Vangelis can be guessed on this mirific ritornello as soon as the waves have started to roll on the music.
Bertrand Loreau's piano play moves us in You and Him, as well as in Him and You. When it is not the piano alone, it is an amalgam of the synth possibilities and its so spleen-like tone which sculpts a violin and its fluty saxophone, as in Walking Hand in Hand. While Bright Black floats with nice orchestrations and A Sound is Born emphasizes a beautiful synth chant over acoustic guitar chords. Composed and performed with Lambert, Lead you Through the Dream mixes Bertrand's melancholy with Lambert Ringlage's Berlin School vision. The progression of the sequencer is magical as it welcomes the various instruments, piano, orchestrations and hybrid synthesizer as well as those melodies all tinged with sadness that are the characteristic of LET THE LIGHT SURROUND YOU. Sunrise in a Dull Day is an atmospheric track with waves that undulate in a brassy tone and whose reverberations push it to this small atypical part of the album, a little after its 4th minute. The synth coos its most beautiful assets in Light Tears and a remix of A Sound is Born ends this album full of tenderness and sadness that Bertrand Loreau offers to ears that will be moved.
Sylvain Lupari (February 7th, 2022) *****