Malik Djoudi - Troie - Track By Track Review
For the friends of: 'Rhye', 'Ariel Pink', 'Unknown Mortal Orchestra'
Genre: psychedelic pop, neo-soul, electro pop
Country: France / Algeria / Vietnam
Favorite track(s): 'Point sensible', '2080', 'Quelques mots'
Random words: driving alone along the coastline
Born to Algerian and Vietnamese parents, Malik Djoudi, a French artist released his third solo album in his mother tongue. With his first album 'UN' released in 2017, he made his entrance to the music scene with French electro-pop. The second track of the debut album, 'Sous garantie' is an amazing track. BIG recommendation to check it out beside the newest album 'Troie'.
'Malik’s second album 'Tempéraments' continued with the electro-pop path, but the new album 'Troie' has taken a much more organic "band" sound as the new direction. Based on an internet search it seems that 'Djoudi' has made his name famous mostly in France since it is hard to find almost anything about him in English. Let's dig into the tracks!
Track by track review:
'Où tu es'
Very beautiful track which works well as an opener for the whole album. It sucks the listener to the melancholic world where there is still some hope left. The guitars play a big part in an otherwise quite minimalistic soundscape. The delicate vocals in French manages also to emphasize the melancholic, mysterious and pleasing space which is introduced in 'Où tu es'. The highlight of the track is in the very end with a sudden change to the great beat which makes you dance and weep at the same time.
'Point sensible' (featuring Lala &ce)
The very same feeling continues with 'Point sensible' which 'Où tu es' built for the listener. The guitar has been replaced with many other instruments and with that, the second track is slightly bigger than the opening track. The song includes another French artist 'Lala &ce' who sounds amazing in the short part with English lyrics. The track just ends too soon! In a way it is a great choice by 'Djoudi' since the track is flowing so nicely and when it ends, it makes the listener crave some more. This is the case with many tracks still coming.
One of the best tracks on the album. The horn (?) arrangements in the track sound something like a 70's melodramatic movie with scenes from South France or Italy. In '2080' vocals are not in the biggest role, they just compliment the arrangement which has many amazing moments with the special drop in the middle of the track. '2080' is the longest track of the album, but still the same as the previous track. I could go on much longer with the track, very easily!
This is the first track with a slightly more positive vibe. The vocals have a nice rhythm going on and the chorus is very soothing as well as the short part with guitars in as the main act. 'Saatchi' reminds a few psychedelic pop bands like 'Tame Impala' or 'Unknown Mortal Orchestra'. There are many cool small details all over the track with the bass and guitar rhythms. All in all 'Saatchi' is one of the most rhythmic tracks of the albums.
Very distant vibe to 'Daft Punk' or even 'Justice' being one of the most danceable tracks of the album. I like the simple, yet strong bass line which gives the direction for the rest of the instruments. The structure of 'Vertiges' is very nicely built being simple but not boring at all.
'Quelques mots' (featuring Isabelle Adjani)
One of the most sensitive and fragile tracks on the album. I really love the duet between 'Djoudi' and 'Adjani'. I have no clue about the lyrics but the whole atmosphere is so delicate that it is not far to find some tears in the corners of my eyes. The track is very interesting since the whole time it is building the momentum bigger and bigger and when it feels that the track explodes it actually ends very surprisingly.
Again one of the more positive vibes of the tracks. The soundscape combines a little bit of organic and electronic production. I like the part with a simple electronic drum before taking the beat back. 'Adorée' is probably one of the most traditional pop tracks with a simple hook and song structure.
Bring the darkness back. 'Douleur' continues with certain minimalistic arrangements with a very melancholic vibe. The track is also one of the most electronic productions reminding a lot of 'Djoudi's earlier albums. The last "breath" is somehow very magical.
This track is one of the most different of all tracks but still pretty good. First I did not like the track so much but giving it couple of repeats I started liking it. The track is almost something like a very positive post-punk song.
This is one of my favorite tracks of the album. The rhythm of the vocals is nicely arranged and the melancholic vibe is well found. The electro drum mixed behind everything else gives a great punch to the track. The melody is pretty simple but there are many details that are just perfectly chosen. The "robot" vocals going on behind the actual vocals sound also really good. Everything on 'Vis la' have their place and time. What a perfect track.
'Eric' (featuring Philippe Katerine)
This is my least favorite track of 'Troie'. The vocals of the featuring artist sound somehow a bit stiff and the whole arrangement is a bit off from the rest of the album. Don't have much else to say about 'Eric'.
This track feels very poetic even though I don't understand the lyrics. I like how the track has a very ambient atmosphere and the vocals are mixed very clearly on top of everything. French sounds almost always very good in music and 'Petit héros' is one proof of that. This is also pretty much a perfect track as the last track of the album binding the whole atmosphere in a very simple way.
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