Review: Renu - Love From London
Love From London
|Album:||Love From London|
|Date of Release:||2011/10|
|Country of Release:||UK|
|Genre/s:||Rock, Prog-Rock, Pop, Jazz, Cinematic Music, Soundtrack|
|Date of Review:||2012/03/19|
Love From London
Released late last year on Holikuti Records, Love From London is awesome genre-busting multi-instrumentalist Renu's awesome debut leader album. Awesome is a word that comes to mind easily in connection with both this outstanding artist and this sensational album.
Written and recorded with varying line-ups over a period of two years in London, Paris, Warsaw and Toronto, Love From London is nothing if not a major effort of love, and this shows - just feel the love! From the finely crafted, sometimes touching on the surrealist, lyrics to the likewise finely crafted, intuitive and inspired as much as it is inspiring, music and arrangements, and through to the superb production and excellent recording quality, Renu's music is forged out of love and inspired genius. Love From London breathes superiority in every way. It reaches straight to from whence it comes - the heart. That is not to say of course that there are some fantastic grooves as well.
The varying personnel features no less than seven excellent vocalists, including Anna Tabbush of the Tabbush English Folk Family, and such other notables as drummer Sebastian Rochford and cellist Jenny Adejayan, in addition to the phenomenal Renu herself on drums (1, 3, 7), percussion (3, 5), cajon (7), tabla (6), djembe (5), acoustic guitars (1-6), classical guitar (7), electric guitar (8), theremin (8), and backing vocals (1, 7).
Love From London is one of those phenomenal, wonderful albums that simply will not be constrained into any one 'genre,' rather, it is a genre-busting album that yet again proves that there are only two real 'genres' of music - good and bad. And this is more than good! Imagine Love From London as a soundtrack to an epic journey through London and its party scene and beyond, telling stories of unrequited love, sex, death and more. Renu's influences are many and complex, ranging from the cinematic (Marricone) all the way through Latin orchestral, 1960s quality pop/singer-songwriter (The Kinks), to rock. prog-rock, folk, classical and beyond. The lyrics are often informed by the poetry of Serge Gainsbourg.
While it would be utterly futile to pick any one favourite track here, and impossibly laborious to comment on every single one, special mention must be made of a few. What better tribute to The Kinks could there possibly be than the partying of the opener, London Revellers! Or take the operatic duet-clashes-folk-clashes-flamenco We Love You (Vampires Of London), a real tear-jerker with goth overtones - such a bizarre combination, yet it is handled masterfully and works so supremely well. Then take the tender Ballad Of Barnaby & Kim, so deceptively simple. And please, just because esraj and tabla are used on one track each, do not for one moment imagine that Love From London is some sort of Indian fusion thing - it decidedly is not, there are no Indian influences discernible anywhere on this sensational album.
Rather, with Love From London, Renu captures the sound, the atmosphere, the very spirit of London, through time and space, as if by magic. With love.
In spite of the extremely variable line-ups, Love From London always remains consistent and totally coherent and cohesive throughout. You could not really call this album compelling, it is so much more! Utterly compulsive, addictive with a spellbinding, magical charm and beauty that will not let go. This album truly sends out and comes with Love From London. I have had this album for a few weeks now, and it simply has not stopped playing and always will remain a firm favourite.
The cover is an exceptionally good design also worthy of mention. It combines a tightly framed black and white profile head shot of Renu with excellent graphics and colour photography in an intelligent, interesting way on a simple double gatefold which also keeps it nice and thin and light.
Renu's Love From London is an absolute must have for any true lover of good music, and all the more so for anyone who loves genre-busting music. Hurry up and get this awesome album! Myself, I cannot wait for the next one! And in the meantime, take every opportunity to hear the awesome Renu live!
1. London Revellers - 3:06
Credits:Renu - drums (1, 3, 7), percussion (3, 5), cajon (7), tabla (6), djembe (5), acoustic guitars (1-6), classical guitar (7), electric guitar (8), theremin (8), backing vocals (1, 7)
Krupa - lead vocals (1)
Mathew Lord - electric guitar (1, 3,5), double bass (1, 4, 5), backing vocals (1, 3)
Kevin Davy - trumpet (1, 3, 9)
Anna Tabbush - lead vocals (2)
Joanna Maeva - electric bass (2)
Michael Papalatus - esraj (2), viola (3, 4, 7)
Marcin Malinowski - piano (2)
Dina J. Myskow - lead vocals (3)
Antonia Pagalatus - violin (3)
Rosina Kazi - lead vocals (4, 5)
Alies Sluiter - violin (4)
Sebastian Rochford - drums (5)
David Lessie - backing vocals & jenna (5)
Shinri - lead vocals (6)
Matis Richet - drums (6)
Rachel McCleod - double bass (6)
Karl Walinet - cello (6)
Ursula Rosenberg - violin (6)
Jennie Marsden - lead vocals (7)
Edward Hughs - backing vocals (7)
Vicky Tilson - double bass (7)
Kat Arney - harp (7)
Tom Donald - harpsichord (7), piano (9)
Sophie Rivlin - cello (7)
Mischa Tangian - violins (7)
Lacki - lead vocals (8)
Jo Paradise - violin (9)
Jenny Adejayan - cello (9)
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