ROUGGE: Cordes CD/DL Rougge Production

ROUGGE: Cordes          CD/DL    Rougge Production

I had to do a bit of a double take when I received this, as France’s Rougge previously sent me an EP of the same name to review.  ‘Cordes’ the album, effectively expands on the EP with an arrangement of a further 11 ‘Fragments’ that tread a familiar path, with piano being the staple grounding rod that holds everything together.

As before, there is a sombre and melancholy tone to Rougge’s work that is hard to escape from, but is by no means less entrancing.  There is an air of obscurity that floats around the ghostly orchestral movements that sit this artist down on the fence of non-conformity; further enhanced by vocals that are ever so reminiscent of Antony & the Johnsons.

The mechanics of this album portray a pure musician who has little time for outright concept, concentrating his efforts on just playing music in its most naked form.  The track titles mean little; and you feel he wrote an array of songs numbered ‘Fragment 1’, Fragment 2 etc., and picked them out at random, for the order in which they were to flow best across the aforementioned EP and this album. Simplistically effective and well meaning, ‘Cordes’ the album, provides a pleasant break from some of the music I listen to and an appreciation of one man and his instrumentation.

9/10

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ROUGGE: Monochrome LP/CD Rougge Production

rougge

ROUGGE: Monochrome LP/CD Rougge Production

France’s Rougge is an unkown to me before today. With this, his second album broken down into ‘fragments’, there is an accompanying press sheet boasting a voice reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Antony and the Johnsons.   They couldn’t have got it more spot on, but I would veer towards the latter.

As an album, this is best played in one sitting, as the songs seamlessly flow one into the other. The credible piano work is a dark, involving and expression-laden backdrop to the haunting voice of Rougge; gracefully soaring through the veiled tones and is wonderfully sung throughout, where words becoming notes and expression.

In a world where everyone is trying to be the next best thing, or fiddling around with electronics and gadgetry, it’s nice once in awhile to hear the simplicity of one man with a piano. Its gratifying when it’s played well and genuine talent shows through end-to-end and Rougge has it by the bucket load.

With an album such as this, I surprisingly found it difficult to review as its so on point, with its bare bones simplistic format of one man and an instrument. Whilst the songs themselves differ little from start to finish, they don’t need to. This is an excellent album, performed by a brilliant musician. Simple.

9/10