This album sat in the "to listen to" pile for longer than it should as I was put off by Ken Stringfellow's involvement playing several instruments and mixing, this influenced by the fact I hated the latest Posies album Solid States when I had to suffer listening to it and reviewing it earlier this year. Thankfully, though, I can put aside any prejudices, as Popincourt are miles better than that travesty.
I Found Out is a good power-pop opener with nicely accented vocals in English from the band's French singer Christophe Loubes. The album's title song, A New Dimension Of Love, reminds me strongly of early Etienne Daho but without the 80's production. It has a languorous feel to it, very dreamy and seductive, almost Belle and Sebastian meets Prefab Sprout.
The First Flower Of Spring keeps the laid back feel as if you should be sipping cappuccinos and eating gateaux while gazing at the one you love on a pavement cafe in Montmartre while explaining how your love is not for me. It also reminds me of early Sade but with a guy singing obviously.
The Things That Last is so restrained it sounds like the French Prefab Sprout but with a sort of splash of Etienne Daho for colour. It's a very cool love song. Improvisation/Part 1 is cool smooth jazz outing with a funky edge. A bit Steve Turre meets a dialled down United Future Organisation. Like a very cool soundtrack piece.
Happy Town is jazzy power-pop that comes closest to the press release claims of wanting to be like the Style Council. I'm sure my ex-neighbour Paul Weller would like this song a lot. The brass on this is nothing short of magnificent.
We Will Be Friends again reminds me of Sade or maybe Swing Out Sister but with vocals by Etienne Daho as he pleads that they will be friends which is that classic phrase we have all uttered as a relationship comes to a not too messy ending. Again it's all about that very restrained brass that punctuates this song perfectly.
The Risk Of Losing You keeps the same feel but lacks the brass but is still pretty good and very brief indeed as it sounds shorter than the 2 mins 20 seconds it actually exists for in real time. Off Track isn't about gambling as far as I can tell but more that your love life is off track. It sounds eerily similar to the old Consulate cigarette ads music from the early 70's crossed with more of the cool, jazzy pop of Swing Out Sister.
Improvisation Pt 2 is just a nice background piece of sultry jazz pop. Want You To Be A Souvenir is back to the Etienne Daho-like pleasant pop that could almost be a lost Stephen Tin Tin Duffy song.
The album closes with The Reason Why which again puts me in mind of something off of Etienne Daho's Paris Ailleurs until that wonderful muted trumpet solo comes in and, well, that's just beautiful and as good a reason to love someone as there is.
This album is seriously nice and if you like good quality laid back grown up pop then just you'll love it.
Find out more at Popincourt at Jigsaw Records online