Album review: 'Masque' |  Music reviews

click to enlarge

The Patrick Jaouen Band


Self released

Whether it’s the laconic rap from Iceberg Slim from the ghetto, or the way cowboy poet Tom Russell takes on the legacy of his characters, or the beat jazz stories from Tom Waits, I have I’m always particularly interested in the language and the story in a song. And while this is just a shortlist, there is a new artist to add to the season: Patrick Jaouen.

The Patrick Jaouen Band has just released an extraordinary album, “Masque”, a work that lyrically divides its time between spoken word cool and emotional thrill through singer-songwriter eyes. It’s kind of a concept album that plays out like a dark ballet. As for the story, it’s a little haunting. It doesn’t end well for the protagonist, so it’s not to be confused with a fairy tale or bedtime story, even if it still easily happens that way.

The music is lush and lasting. It stops, as does Jaouen’s voice when it rises into the sky. You can thank Brian Moore at Red Booth Studios for this.

The jump from song to spoken track is flawless and draws you into the story. And you will hear something new every time. Exquisite.