Love me sweet, pretty baby
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 01/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In "A Grand Love Story," producer Kid Loco (real name: Jean Yves Prieur) has created the perfect downtempo album. His French trip-hop is laid-back and airy, but much warmer and sunnier than most such albums. Things get a bit odd in the middle, but it's never boring and never too strange.
It opens with the gently ambient "A Grand Love Theme," and follows up with gentle trip-hop and guitar-laced pop music. But things start to get a little eerie in "Bootleggers," a wavery little song that becomes darker and a bit more surreal, with horns and the occasional odd clatter.
"Calling Aventura King" is slower and more ambiguous -- it has warm, soft notes woven in the essentially cold beats. And "Sister Curare" is a patchwork of odd samples. Things shift back into warmer climes with "She's My Lover (A Song For R.)," an exotic little tune that brings us back into the realm of warm chill-out music.
That arc is what makes the album so intriguing, since it keeps listeners from predicting what the next song will sound like. It's a bit like walking into a haunted house on a sunny day, and walking back out into the sun at the end. On that note, "Grand Love Story," ends with the gently spacey "Cosmic Supernatural," which reminds one of watching the stars while listening to the radio.
There's a warm pastoral flavor to "Grand Love Story," as if Kid Loco is driving you through the countryside. These are truly beautiful pop songs, and they show Loco's exceptional skill as a downtempo artist, whether it's happily stoned pop, ghostly trip-hop, or warm ambience.
Some of the songs are almost completely constructed of sampling, although in songs like "Relaxin' With Cherry" the gentle guitar line and mellow drumming ties it all together. Prieur also contributes some faint vocals, and Katrina Mitchell of the Pastels gives a pretty guest performance in "Love Me Sweet." She sounds a little uncertain as she sings to a quiet percussion backdrop, although even that is charming to hear.
"A Grand Love Story" is perhaps the perfect example of a chillout trip-hop album, without a single dull song and with plenty of little tweaks to keep things interesting. Absolutely wonderful."
Brian Moore | Florida | 09/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Effervescent, ethereal downtempo that ages like fine wine.
Swirling beats woven into numerous samples,flutes, and the only Apocalypse Now vocal sample I have ever heard in this genre! funky chill tunes to drive, smoke or love to. Changes directions in mid-song without missing a turn and goes back the way it came just as easily.
I am a big fan of a number of downtempo acts and albums from this era (and beyond) but I have to say that this is probably my favorite electronic album simply because it has such a strong presence without being overpowering. It can sit in the background at a party or you can crank it to the center of everyone's attention.
This album covers a lot of ground , starting slow but building up (A Grand Love Theme) , going into conga drums and delightful feminine vocals with ease (Love Me Sweet) and slipping back into a nice solid groove before taking off into the outer reaches (The Bootleggers) A little stormy in sections, at one point (Sister Curare) the jangling, off key piano chords are a bit shocking when you are so used to the sweet melodies but it's all a set up into the next groove. By the time you are into the last three songs (esp. She Wolff Daydreaming) this album will be in your head for life.
I have played chill and down to mid tempo for a number of friends who don't ordinarily listen to electronic tunes and this is always the album that converts them.