Emmanuel Dalmas – Soundcloud Songs – Singles Review
Earlier this year, we checked out the music of Emmanuel Dalmas for the first time…similar setup to this review here today actually, a handful of singles from over at his Soundcloud page. Much like the last time around, we find Emmanuel still experimenting with his own capabilities, style, and sound – testing the waters out there with versatile music that always has something new to offer. Like, for instance, the first track I was checking out today, called “French Kiss” featuring Petravita…I mean…it has an ACTUAL snake hiss included as part of the cut…something that Emmanuel caught in a recording somehow – but you see what I’m saying? He’s ALWAYS doing something new that approaches music from an interesting angle, fully willing to put himself out there and experiment in the pursuit of art – I got lots of love & respect for that. Pass or fail, Emmanuel understands that true success lies in enjoying the entire journey…the good, the bad, and everything that comes in between…he has genuine musical courage. When you have the enthusiasm, energy, and passion that Emmanuel has for making music & evolving as an artist, every step made is a firm step forward; no matter the results, he learns from the experience.
So! Let’s start this up. As I mentioned, I checked out “French Kiss” first and immediately got sucked into this hypnotic rhythm that Emmanuel has created, featuring Petravita delivering the bars on this poetic & moody hip-hop track with flawless character, timing, and energy. As for the snake hiss…ha…honestly, it’s a tough call! I like it for the fact that, straight-up – when have you EVER heard a real snake hiss on a song of ANY kind before? I mean, IF you have, it’s likely been a one-time experience so far…cause this don’t exactly come along every day, know what I mean? I’d assume MOST, if not ALL of you have never heard that as a sound included in any song you’ve heard before…so…I mean, credit where credit is due to Emmanuel for bringing something seriously deadly & unique into the music that no one I can think of has done before. I think in general, it does add a lot of additional intensity to this slow-burning cut…I’ll admit there are times where I thought that having such a defined & clear sound wasn’t always a necessary layer…because it really does burst out in the mix like a snake attacking its prey – likely because that’s what it REALLY IS. So in a way, it’s always a bit of a jolt or surprise when we hear it – and in terms of what I felt like the song needed to go to that next level, I felt like this was a good inclusion, but that it still needed a bit more…something…when it came to the separation between verse/chorus. Vocally, of course it goes in a completely different direction in the transition from rap to singing – but musically, I felt like there could have been a bit more added to that chorus to make it pop just a bit more. Again, tough call in a sense, because I really believe that “French Kiss” is making a verifiable attempt at keeping the vibe rolling in that hypnotic rhythm & atmosphere…so I get that Emmanuel wouldn’t want to do too much to change it up as the song progresses – and to his credit, there IS a lot of elements in the mix that add up cleverly along the way…but I still felt like a little extra oomph in the chorus with maybe one additional synth-line or something to give it that separation might have helped out. And that’s essentially because we’re going from that insanely vibrant energy that Petravita puts into the verses – I mean, dude is completely spot-on, the words are great, the flow is money. When it comes to the chorus, personally I like the melody, I like the singing – but the energy of the song noticeably drops in a spot that most ears expect it to come up somehow when that singing begins. The result is kind of a lethargic melancholy…there’s still a strong hook and access point into it, but I think the inspired performance from Petravita on the mic really steals the show on this cut without question.
I mentioned the passion and heart Emmanuel puts into his music, even on a thematic-level that came across last time when we reviewed the song “Lorelei,” which he had written for his wife. This time around, I got to check out the gorgeous piano/violin combo for a song he’s dedicated to his dear ol’ dad, called “Father” – and it’s right on the money, all the way through. I also mentioned the versatility of Emmanuel’s music – so it’s probably best that I mention we’ve gone from a hip-hop track to a complete instrumental now, pretty much in what you could call a modern contemporary or classical music composition. Whatever you want to call it – it’s absolutely beautiful and I’m sure all our ears can agree on that. Also important to note, is that he’s recorded this live. You certainly can’t tell from the production or performance, which is definitely to his credit – it sounds like gold and it’s played like it’s been rehearsed for years & completely ready to go. Each layer added to the mix brings a sparkling part of this music’s inspired & emotional sound, flowing movements, and genuinely breathtaking beauty. The violin is great for sure – but that piano! And like, as soon as I wrote that, I thought – that piano is amazing – but those violins! Didn’t matter which element of the music on “Father” caught my attention – they ALL did at some point, it’s a real gem of a song and a stunning instrumental overall. The next time someone tells you that they ‘don’t get instrumental music,’ have them listen to “Father” – because this is exactly how you communicate thoughts, feelings, and emotions without a single word.
So far, Emmanuel’s brought something new to hip-hop and instrumental music – so hey, why not just take a turn into ORCHESTRAL POP right afterwards right? You NEVER know what to expect when it comes to Emmanuel’s music, you just don’t. What an extraordinary & blissful freedom this guy must feel as an artist – the tangible benefits or being this flexible in making music leads to all kinds of incredible results and each experience being unique from the last – and always bringing several qualities out in the music that make that experience entirely worthwhile. Featured guest-vocalist Nikky sounds exquisite and clearly pours her A-game into the mic with brilliantly bold & confident tones owning the song at its maximum peak and insightfully shrinking into the atmosphere when the music backs off. I know the reality of Orchestral Pop…or atmospherically-based anything…it DOES have to fight harder for attention than any flashy or glossy kind of pop-song with bombastic, in-your-face hooks…that’s only logical. What you NEED to make it work, is for everything to come together just as it should – and that’s exactly what you’ve got happening on “Feel The Moment” featuring Nikky. Personally, I love the music on this one – it’s amazingly subtle and almost not even something you hear when it comes to how vibrant the charismatic vocals of Nikky become in the chorus – but in the verse, the sound of the music is absolutely spectacular to me. Just nailed the texture…and with the power in Nikky’s vocals continually building…the brilliant lead vocals and stunning background layers woven subtly into the mix…like I was saying – this kind of music needs it all to come together just perfectly to stand out, and I completely believe they’ve achieved that here on “Feel The Moment.” It’s the difference between making a decent song in a category that’s tough enough to stand out in, and making a song like “Feel The Moment” that could genuinely become someone’s FAVORITE song of all-time – you feel me? Emmanuel’s done a great job of finding & highlighting some of the unbelievable talent that exists out there in the music-scene and is collaborating with future superstars that fit perfectly into the music he’s creating – or in other words, I’d imagine this guy is pretty damn happy about the way these latest songs have come out sounding. From Petravita on “French Kiss” to Nikky on “Feel The Moment” – he’s enlisted true A-list talent that have delivered at every possible moment with truly impressive & memorable performances.
I’ll admit that when I went to check out the last song in review here, called “Love Is A Battlefield” – I was expecting…well…what I suppose we’d ALL be expecting from what you’d expect to be a title that you’d probably only see once in this lifetime, from the hit Pat Benetar song in the 80’s. So *spoiler alert* – this is not that song; and in the end, I suppose many of us would have to agree with the consensus between Pat & Emmanuel that love is indeed, a battlefield. I’m sure many people out there feel like it can’t be defined any other way…so maybe it does make some sense to run into this title twice in one lifetime. Just sayin’ tho Emmanuel…it’s uncommon brother…I can guarantee people are expecting this to be a cover tune, that’s all. Movin’ on – there’s obviously lots more to be said about this song than just ranting about its title.
Emmanuel’s back on the piano for this final tune for the most part, sounds like some acoustic guitar accompaniment & additional elements in the atmosphere…which is, of course, melancholy & emotional, thoughtfully laid-out and real to experience, matching the sentiment of the lyricism that the title would imply. I like the pacing of this song a lot…I think the added space in the music really has a captivating role to play in this song that grips your attention as it plays, revealing itself slowly note-for-note. The main verses of “Love Is A Battlefield” and how Emmanuel sings this song is what worked for me; as far as the chorus goes…it shifts into a like…modified steel-drum sound or pipes of some kind perhaps…you hear them for a brief moment at the very beginning of the song. Not entirely sure that worked in my opinion…I don’t mind the sound itself, but I didn’t feel like it belonged with the ice-like, crystalline, fragile & intimate sounds that you find through the verses of “Love Is A Battlefield.” At the very least, it’s like you can almost feel or hear that jolt or jarring transition into that part…not anything so brutal that you wouldn’t still carry on listening, but noticeably somewhat awkward perhaps…it really kicks in with a definitive sound each time it comes around. It’s likely what you’d consider to be the bridge instead of the chorus anyhow…the verses of “Love Is A Battlefield” are more like choruses of their own. They’re brief moments in the song, which otherwise in my opinion, is more or less perfectly intact. I think the vocals are strong, I like the repetition in the lyricism and think it’s effective here on this song in combination with the expressive nature of the vocals and how they’ve clearly connected with the emotion behind the words. So don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of beautifully redeeming qualities in this song that make it worth the listening, but of this set of four, likely one of the less-balanced tracks when it comes to how smoothly it flowed & transitioned between its parts.
In any event – the guy’s once again brought out four tracks in four completely different styles, with varying degrees of success perhaps, but that’s natural when you’re working with all kinds of different material – bottom line is, it’s continually impressive to listen to an artist step into so many areas of music so fearlessly. Inspiring really, no matter the results.
But let’s face facts – the results have been more than good throughout these four tracks of Emmanuel Dalmas…he’s clearly on the right path with what he’s doing. He’ll always have the option of picking a single direction or style of music if that’s what he ever felt like doing – but truthfully, why would you ever want to when you’ve got creative freedom like this and you’re not afraid to use it? I have the feeling variety is the spice of life when it comes to Emmanuel’s approach to music – and I have the feeling it always will be.
And I think that’s a fantastic aspect of his music that will always have me listening.
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