Trisomie 21 – Happy mystery child

Trisomie 21 is back. After several years of silence the French brothers Philippe and Herve Lomprez have made an impressive return. Happy Mystery Child sounds mature, accessible and up-to-date, though you can still recognize characteristic T21 elements like the wave guitars, the moody electronic foundation and the typical vocals.

In tthe past T21 has both created melodic wave/pop songs as atmospheric soundtrack-like music. This time the focus lies clearly on song-based material. Their new album sounds highl varied and rather polished. After a few listening turns I’ve really grown fond of it, it’s an album which grows on you. Some tracks are almost radio friendy, while others are quite danceable.

The first track ‘Red or green’ sounds really different than I expected, very electronic with modern dance influences and deep halfspoken vocals reminding me of Faithless. I had to get used to this one. Trisomie has clearly added modern tools to their usual handling of vintage equipment.

I’m almost relieved when ‘She died for love’ starts with acoustic guitars and subtle percussion. The vocals on this dramatic song sound more familiar now. A very pleasant track with a nice groove. Things get more uptempo on ‘No search for us’, a danceable piece with typical wave guitars and a catchy beat. I have to think of T21 contemporaries Poesie Noire. Nice and danceable.

‘The touch of any flame’ starts with a classical intro, but turns into a catchy piece based on guitars, bass and a steady beat. Especially the atypical singing and the guitar sound makes me think of of trendy indie pop. With the right promotion this could perhaps become a hit. The vocals of Philippe Lomprez still needs some getting used to, but his voice seems to have more than dimensions than before. The texts are still hard to understand, perhaps though the accent.

‘No works of words’ is also a strong track. A rather danceable piece, with sounds and rhythms which at first make me think of goa/trance. But the New Order-like guitar ssound take me to more familiar territory. A good one for the dancefloor. Heavier guitars give the song more body towards the end.

Heavy rock elements on ‘Personnal feelings’ (sic), moody piano and synth sounds on ‘Midnight of my life’ and post-punk influences on ‘Forsaken mysteries’ underline the diversity of this album even further.

artist: Trisomie 21
label: Le Maquis Records
details: 10 tracks, 2004