|Woodkid — The Golden Age (2013)|
Woodkid ¤¤ The Golden Age
Birth name: Yoann Lemoine
Location: Paris, France
Album release: March 19, 2013
Record Label: Green United Music/UMGRI Interscope Records/Universal
01. The Golden Age (Y.L. & Dany Héricourt) (3:44)
02. Run Boy Run (Y.L. & Ambroise Willaume) (3:34)
03. The Great Escape (Y.L. & Héricourt, Guillaume Brière) (3:17)
04. Boat Song (Y.L. & Mitchell Yoshida) (4:29)
05. I Love You (Lemoine, Willaume) (3:51)
06. The Shore (4:15)
07. Ghost Lights (3:41)
08. Shadows (2:06)
09. Stabat Mater (Lemoine & Héricourt, SebastiAn) (2:50)
10. Conquest Of Spaces (Lemoine, Héricourt) (4:30)
11. Falling (0:45)
12. Where I Live (4:27)
13. Iron (3:24)
14. The Other Side (Lemoine, Héricourt) (3:42)
Agent: (Caramba Spectacles & Junzi Arts)
¶ Présenté comme le nouveau petit prodige de l'indie pop "made in France", Woodkid vient de sortir son premier album. Si la voix et les mélodies ne sont pas désagréables, les arrangements prétentieux et pompeux fonctionnent de maniere rédhibitoire pour mes délicates oreilles. De plus, ce jeune homme manque d'inspiration et pratique avec lourdeur le copier–coller tiré du répertoire classique, entre autres. Bref, préférez l'original.
¶ Il semble plus talentueux dans sa spécialité d'origine, la photo et la vidéo... il devrait y rester!
Grammy Nominated Director Woodkid Releases Debut Album, The Golden Age, On Interscope Records
¶ Announces Show In Los Angeles This May
¶ SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Woodkid, aka Yoann Lemoine , the critically renowned French musician, director and producer behind acclaimed videos for Lana Del Rey 's Blue Jeans and Born To Die, Drake & Rihanna's Take Care and Katy Perry 's Teenage Dream, steps out from behind the camera with the release of his debut album The Golden Age on March 19th.
¶ With The Golden Age, we follow the life and loves of a young boy as he grows into manhood and ultimately reaches a tragic end. Says the singer-songwriter-keyboardist-producer of his soaring, often orchestral songs: "I want people to feel like heroes when they hear my music." Fans will have the chance to hear him perform live on a European tour this spring and summer as well as in the U.S. on May 8th at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.
¶ The eagerly awaited album follows Woodkid's 2011 EP Iron, the video of which attracted more than 25 million views on YouTube, and the 2012 EP Run Boy Run, of which the video just recently was nominated for a Grammy as best Short Form Music Video in 2013.
¶ The Golden Age was written and produced by Woodkid and among the 14–track set one can also find the lead single “I Love You,” released earlier this year. According to NME magazine “his debut, is full of the multi–instrumentalism, Antony Hegarty vocals and super–clean production”. The Sunday Times finds “intense songs paired with magnificent visuals” on the album whereas The Sun describes The Golden Age as epic as the promo for Born To Die [Woodkid] made for Lana last year”. The Clash Magazine classifies “this painfully impeccable solo debut” by Woodkid as a “mosaic […] soaring from alien–movie soundtracks to the show tunes of Rufus Wainwright or Elton John” that “is an utterly grandiose project, incorporating organ, church bells, Taiko drums, timpani, brass, strings, woodwind – a fully orchestral work, bravely centering on Woodkid's voice.”
¶ Woodkid’s “Iron” was also chosen by the successful video game franchise Assassin’s Creed for use in its blockbuster launch in 2011. The collaboration continued when Woodkid’s second single “Run Boy Run” was used for the global advertising campaign of the release of Assassin’s Creed 3 in 2012.
¶ Apart from all this praise, Woodkid remains the musical artist and subtle producer of his incredibly moving stories and images “and the depth of feeling, tenderness, awe and melancholia that they evoke” (The Clash Magazine). He is directing all his videos on his own and turns every live performance into a spectacle rarely seen in the world of pop music. Together with a 30–piece orchestra, he turned the venerable Le Grand Rex theatre in Paris in September 2012 into a place of ecstasy in front of 3.000 adoring fans. “When I started playing my own music, I wanted it to be as tall as a skyscraper. Images can achieve that. A really big orchestra can also achieve that.”
¶ This creative ambition and artistic freedom have allowed Woodkid to make such a unique sounding (“delicate and impressive”, The Clash Magazine) and powerful album as The Golden Age. “It’s all about that time of passage between adolescence and adulthood, into that confusing hyper–reality,” Woodkid notes. “I talk about those perceptible changes”. “It’s about love, life and death, striving for your own identity, those basic crises of adolescence. […] I always play the part of the sympathetic observer.”
Born: 16 March 1983, Reims, France
Occupation: Director, singer, songwriter
The Golden Age:
¶ On December 15, 2012, Lemoine announced the beginning of his debut album recordings on his Facebook account. The album was named The Golden Age. Lemoine has confirmed several track titles for the album on his Twitter page, including; "Run Boy Run" (also the first single for the album), "Whispers", "The Golden Age", "Stabat Mater", "The Shore" & "Ghost Lights". It will be released on March 18, 2013 through independent label, Green United Music. Lemoine released the official album cover through a video he created himself on December 14, 2012 and released the album’s corresponding tracklisting one week later on December 21 on his official Facebook page.
¶ "Iron" was used within Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Trailer. "Run Boy Run" was used in several O2 adverts (those voiced by Sean Bean).
¶ The music video for Woodkid track "Run Boy Run" was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2013 Grammy Awards. It was directed by Lemoine himself.
¶ One explanation as to why Yoann became a musician, is that during a video shoot he was directing, guitarist Richie Havens gave Yoann a banjo.
¶ Woodkid released the Iron EP on March 28, 2011. For the music video for the single “Iron”, he collaborated with English model Agyness Deyn. The song was featured in trailers for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and the film Hitchcock, as well as the movie Django Unchained, and the TV series Teen Wolf.
¶ On October 15, 2011 he sang on stage with Lana Del Rey in New York City and created the video for her song “Born To Die”.
¶ He performed at London Jazz Festival on 15 November 2012.
¶ The French couture brand Dior Homme’s Fall–Winter 2013 collection “A Soldier On My Own” is inspired by Woodkid’s “Iron”, and is named after the lyrics of the song. The song is used as soundtrack of the show.
• Charlotte Richardson Andrews (Editor rating: ****)
◦ guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 March 2013 22.05 GMT
¶ Woodkid’s Yoann Lemoine has made his mark producing videos for the likes of Lana del Rey and Rihanna, and earned a Grammy nomination for his own Where the Wild Things Are–style single and video, Run Boy Run. That song’s narrative — sword–brandishing schoolboy–hero racing wildly towards his destiny – unfolds in full on this filmic debut. It is the crisis of adolescence and all its aches that The Golden Age soundtracks, victories and losses played out in dark, fairytale metaphors. Lemoine’s sad, rich vocals are a comforting constant throughout the stormy flux of dramatic orchestral pop: a grand alchemy of swelling strings and crashing drums. But, despite the surge of charging percussion and triumphant fanfare of horns on The Great Escape, an air of grim inevitability haunts the album’s arc, and an ominous bell motif tolls the fate of our boy–man protagonist. “The golden age is over,” mourns Lemoine, but there’s enough wide–eyed magic and spellbinding pomp here to make the adventure worthwhile. © Yoann Lemoine aka Woodkid performing at Hyeres Fashion Festival, France, with The Shoes, May 2011//Author: Rufywainy
¶ ‘The Golden Age’ is the début by a musician Yoann Lemoine, working under the moniker of Woodkid. The album follows on from the 2011 release ‘Iron’, which was featured in the Assassins Creed: Revelations trailer. Yoann Lemoin’s career includes many music videos for notable artists, including Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. His shift into writing and producing his own music is fairly interesting, as it seems to deviate a lot from what could be deemed as ‘popular’. Woodkid’s music is very interesting, as it has a sort of ‘indie’ feel to it, but there’s many elements within it, including lots of instrumentals which aren’t so commonly used these days. It makes for very interesting music, and it is rather satisfying to now hear it all in a full-album format.
¶ On the album, many of the songs seem to continue on from what ‘Iron’ established back in 2011, but also introduce different elements and ideas. ‘Iron’ (Which is present on the album) seemed to be a very charged and almost heavy track, and seemed almost as cinematic as the trailer it was included in. Much of ‘The Golden Age’ is similar in a sense, in that it features the same kinds of instrumentals, ranging from string–instruments and horns with some heavy percussion to help drive things along. However, there’s still a sense of an album–experience, as the album ranges in dynamics, helping to create it’s own experience. There is a real sense of everything being incredibly cinematic on the album, with the music sounding perhaps like a pop–version of a movie–soundtrack. On top of all these layers of instrumentation are the vocals of course, which are by no means perfect. However, these imperfect vocals really help to give the album character and flair. It is all part of Woodkid’s sound, which is incredibly interesting to listen too. The album has many songs as heavily dynamic as ‘Iron’, and others which are much more gentle. It helps to keep the album interesting and the music on it interesting.
¶ I feel that there’s a lot to enjoy on ‘The Golden Age’, and that Yoann Lemoine has certainly tried to create music that is different in its own right. There’s something about ‘The Golden Age’ that just feels a little new and not attempted before. It should be said that the album isn’t the entirely flawless of course. Whilst the style is certainly interesting, and really helps to give Woodkid it’s own flair in the music scene, it perhaps become a little dull by the end of the album. It makes sense why ‘Iron’ was placed as the penultimate track, as by that point in the album, the style of the music has certainly begun to drawl on, and the energy that is behind ‘Iron’ helps to kick everything back into gear. It’s a smart move, but I know I’d just prefer to replace the more forgettable tracks with more interesting ones. Considering how intense ‘Iron’ is as a track, and how the build-up on the opening track ‘The Golden Age’ is equally as intense, it is clearly within Woodkid’s capabilities to write interesting songs.
¶ I do feel though that ‘The Golden Age’ is an interesting album, and one that is certainly worth checking out if you were drawn in by the band’s previous singles. Whilst the album perhaps in a sense feels a little bit longer than it should be, it is still an incredibly engaging album. It’s incredibly refreshing to hear an album where the artist in question has attempted to do something that little bit different, and not only do something different, but also pull it off incredibly well. ‘The Golden Age’ is certainly an impressive début album in this reviewer’s opinion, and it will be very interesting to see what direction Woodkid will take themselves in from this point on.
Album Rating: ****½
|Woodkid — The Golden Age (2013)|
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