'Out of... leBLEU' is receiving great reviews from all over the globe - you can read some of these below.
Or to read reviews for our first single 'Toujours Là' click here.
Losing Today (Mark Barton)
Nice title and pretty apt for this album as the impact of the eleven tracks here are literally out of 'le bleu'.
It's been a while waiting for this debut too finally see the light of day, but ultimately worth the wait. Le Bleu you may remember were responsible for that gorgeously delicate taster 'Toujours La' earlier last year, fears where that they had disappeared for good, fear not, the single and it's accompanying b side are included here. To be honest it's only through familiarity that these muster a mention given the strength of the new material.
For the train-spotters out there Le Bleu center around the talents Philip L. Holmes. 'Out of...' is dare I say romantic and cool and such pop doesn't get any better unless it's sung in French, strange that. Le Bleu toy with film noire imagery, set in a minimalist capacity with the feint stirring of an ever so brief synth, the odd harmonica and an accordion for company. Bearing this in mind we are already talking elegant, unfussed batchelor pad music. 'Out of...' contains a myriad of underplayed, lush, sophisticated and intelligently crafted pop, each track shades itself in it's own slightness of beauty.
Collectively it gives way to a feeling of jazz undertones, you can almost smell the vapors of the smoke filled dimly lit exclusive members only late night club, in fact strangely enough the way this is arranged with the introductions this could easily be a live take.
'Out of...' is cool and sophisticated, sexy and sensual, it's all about rain drenched walkways, loneliness and broken hearts. Silky melodies are the call of the day, 'Les Tons Pastels et le Noire'
How cool do you really want to be?
Robots & Electronic Brains
This one's been around for a while but moving house does strange things to the finely-tuned system of piles of records and CDs for review, sale and destruction. No problem though, cos its rediscovery in the corner of the bedroom links up nicely with a comment Julie Burchill made in yesterday's Guardian. Bleating at great length about British acts putting on American accents for pop success she tossed in a casual put-down about the French: "if an English singer stood up and performed a chanson in a French accent, he'd get bottled off. It would seem like he was making fun of French people - a noble occupation, admittedly.." Le Bleu don't adopt just a foreign accent, they sing wholly in French. And do they get bottled off-stage for this? They do not. Porquoi? Parce-que c'est tres naturel. Unlike the Generation Game conveyor belt of plastic pop stars that chug cheerily across the nation's TV screens, enjoying their 15 minutes in the charts, Le Bleu are not a pale facsimile of that which they desire to be. On the contrary, they are the real to countless bands inept fumblings. If you rounded up all the foppish Sarah bands from 1986 and told them that the real language to sing about life in was French (however tedious life in a bedsit, failing to get off with girls from the indie disco might be), then told them to tune their fucking guitars and develop an additional dimensions then, with 15 years trying, they might have ended up sounding half as good as Le Bleu.
Le Bleu have more of their Franglais stuff out on the punningly titled 'Out of...Le Bleu'. See Ptolemaic Terrascope No.29 for Steve Pescott's review of their last single and break out the Sartre paperbacks whilst smoking Galoises like a daddio/kitty-kat with nothing left to live for. Beret. Fridge. Dig etc.
Phillip L. Holmes conjures vibes, jazzy double bass and percussion on the Air-ish opener 'Entrée' and continues to astonish throughout, highlights being 'Les Tons Pastels et Noir' and the vibes of last cut 'Sortie'. Serge Gainsbourg and Scott Walker in attitude, the former's red hot pervert hormones negated by the latter's aloof chilliness.
A working knowledge of French may help with Le Bleu's 'Out of…' album. Le Bleu are Edinburgh based Francophiles. Francophile enough for the whole of 'Out of…' to be performed in French. This, and the 'trendy bloke in café' artwork can induce a mood which may be made worse as proceedings are kicked off with a spoken work introduction, sounding like the safety notice on a ferry. And yet 'Toujours Là', the second track, lifts the mood through its swirly sophistication. It might be Old St., but all's well if you blot out the mental pictures of trendy spacemen and inhibitive bars which don't sell 'session' lager. After it, there's no reason to dislike Le Bleu. Indeed, by the end of the album, I felt quite good. And fancying a Gauloises
Zondag Middag Express
A very gentle sound, with Ed Beaven singing in a very gentle manner as well, it's Le Bleu, relaxed and exquisite. Le Bleu is concepted by Phillip L.Holmes and performed by Ed Beavan, Katy Lockwood-Holmes (vox), with various musicians on guitar, double bass, cello, accordéon, piano and mouth organ. A wonderfully spacey and dreamy album. No french reactions known as yet but my bet would be it will hit the soft spot 'Là-Bas'. It did so in Les Pays Bas (Netherlands).
The former single 'Toujours Là' is included, however the new tracks have a much richer orchestration, building upto a very distinctive sound, close to that of The Gist, Young Marble Giants, or more recently of Air. The absolutely gorgeous 'Trop Beau Pour Etre Vrai' sets the tone for a sequence that works up to hypnotic proportions. Ed Beavan has a soft toned, affectionate, slightly husky voice. In the closing track 'La Vie est comme un Fleuve' the concept works best. A pure gem, bringing Big Star's 'Holocaust' to mind, without the manic depression I must hasten to add. 'Out Of Le Bleu' is harmless, which it always meant to be. So, it's a succesful project.
Mucchio Selvaggio (Italian)
Sveglia, ammiratori degli Air! La prima proposta della settimana è per voi, che potreste trovare nei Le Bleu, gruppo francofono di Edimburgo, pane per i vostri denti. Formatosi attorno alla mente di Phillip L. Holmes, il progetto si caratterizza per un pop raffinato e intelligente, verrebbe quasi da dire - ma forse è un po' eccessivo - fine e colto. La nota di fondo non è certo allegra, anzi; eppure, tra romanticismi e minimalismi, i tre quarti d'ora di questo esordio se ne volano, e le tracce migliori (il singolo Toujours Là su tutti), pur non potendo essere certo definite orecchiabili, ti rimangono addosso con estrema facilità. Arrangiamenti fantasiosi, atmosfere sfuggenti (La Vie est comme un Fleuve), un gusto spesso ricerato (Les Tons Pastels et le Noir) rendono questo lavoro unicum cui ci si avvicina senza troppa convinzione, ma che alla finne riesce a dare piacevoli, insperate sensazioni.
LE BLEU es un proyecto musical propulsado por un escocés llamado Phillip L. Holmes: el concepto del grupo así como la producción corre enteramente a su cargo. Trabaja desde Edimburgo con un minúsculo grupo de músicos para lograr una de las obras más elegantes de los últimos años. LE BLEU hacen space pop, un maravilloso space pop que debe tanto a la Velvet como a Air, que tiene un algo de Stereolab y otro de Gainsbourg, todo cantado en francés, cuando no son instrumentales. "Out Of... Le Bleu" es uno de esos raros discos que convence desde la primera escucha. Sorprende su minimalismo, su esmerado diseño y producción, su querencia al romanticismo, su gusto por los ambientes, sorprende todo, la puesta total en escena.
Blow Up (Italian)
Originari di Edimburgo, un gruppo di musicisti, insieme al produttore Phillip L. Holmes hanno dato vita a questo curioso progetto; assorti dalla travolgente passione per la canzone francese, i Le Bleu affrontano il loro esordio in maniera soffice. Come avevano anticipato i due brani del singolo, qui compresi, si prosegue con atmosfere retrò a base di romanticherie e per fortuna a dare a tocco di freschezza basta un maquillage elettro-pop su infatuazioni alla Air. Una raccolta di canzoni, fruibili, semplici ed equilibrate che trovano l'unico punto di distrazione nello strumentale con chitarra e organo, La Reve des Lunes.
www.lesite.fr/magic (Translated from French)
Pickled Egg is one of those tiny English institutions which, despite everything, continues on its own pretty way, producing a plethora of 7"s and other albums, usually delicious anachronisms, far-removed from fashion, from showiness and from gargantuan production values.
Sometimes – often – it remains a matter of details. This is unfortunately the case with the first album from LeBLEU. Unfortunate because, on paper, the project should have been more enticing. A Scottish composer, Phillip L. Holmes, decided to surround himself with some Edinburgh musicians and record 11 sung-morcels in the – cock-a-doodle-do! – language of Moliere. For sure, the man knows his Air like the back of his hand, often imagines himself Gainsbourg, and the British accent gives the whole a pleasant exotic charm. Still better, some of the spacious nursery rhymes plunge the listener into a langorous well-being.
But the whole lacks contrast, rhythms and in fact threatens to plunge the most tenacious of sentimentalists into a deep numbness. Conclusion: it hasn't earned itself the title of 'grand Bleu'.