St. Germain Returns With Excellent Self-Titled Album
Here’s an album that I knew I would love from the opening seconds. Fifteen years after his last release, St. Germain returns with his eponymous third studio album St. Germain. Upbeat rhythms with classic world instruments, St. Germain flawlessly combines nu-jazz and house music with an Afrobeats twinge to deliver a stellar album to his already impressive discography.
The first track "Real Blues" has basically everything I’m looking for in a house track. A soothing vocal lead (by the incomparable Lightnin’ Hopkins) complemented by hip shaking percussion encompassed by warm analog swells throughout. If the bell solo at 2:48 doesn’t make you stop what you’re doing and realize you want to get up and dance then I don’t know what will.
"Hanky-Panky" shows up the jazz chops that St. Germain is notable for. Noodling is the best way to describe the instrumentation, both on the keys and the guitar. A swinging, snappy drum beat makes it sound like the instruments are almost battling with one another, where the winner is most definitely you the listener. It all fades out about halfway through to let the rhythm section shine, letting the bass escort the guitars through a beautiful solo section into the end of the song.
He slows things down with “Mary L,” a piece that feels like it could have come off a Portishead record. Letting the keys do most of the heavy lifting on this piece, this is an amazing example of jazz and Afrobeat merging into one groovy world. It’s got that lo-fi downtempo beat that the SoundCloud generation loves while building a funky-as-hell jazz composition around it.
If you’re anything like me, you’re in disbelief that it’s December already. Doesn’t it feel like summer was just yesterday? And if you’re anything like me, you’re listening to music that doesn’t make it feel like it’s cold outside yet and there’s still long summer nights ahead of you. If I’m right and we’re in the same boat, then this is absolutely the album for you. Put it on, let it ride, and be completely transported.