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Lou Doillon

"Lay Low" (Barclay Universal - 2020)

Lay Low


The Lou Doillon last album  "Lay Low" does not surprise us. How the French production hopes exceed the boundaries with such achievements? By English texts? No gentlemen, this will be largely insufficient ... Everything is twaddle, boredom and monotony: the voice, the songs, arrangements, sound.

Blandness, monotony we said? indeed and the first title of the album "Left Behind" sets the tone! In A minor and accompanied by a piano solo that starts on flat arranging as a bad film music,  Lou Doillon hoarse voice never take off, confined to a limited midrange, a very short instrumental break to the wind instruments (also fake) and equally pale, allow her to catch her breath. Phew, fortunately the title is only 2'53 "minutes long.

But we looked forward to the following. Heck, with "Above My Head", we start on the same key of A minor, this time with a cheesy arrangement of an old guitar vibrato from the 60s, oscillating between 2 chords: A minor and C major, an old organ Type "Farfisa" just add some "sustained chords" while the melody keeps turning round to escape only one time with a timid chorus that can not go beyond the "D" note. A "Grunge" guitar tries to give a rock sound without much conviction, preceding a new chorus in order to conclude the piece.

"Where to start" was selected as a single of 4 chords: G maj, B min., E min. and C maj. repeated like the hits of the 60's (you know, "only you"). By forcing a little bit, the top model manages painfully in order to catch G 3 note.

"Nothing left" clings persistently to the A minor key. Same cheesy organ, distorted guitar, hoarse voice ... you really start to get bored ... Oh yes, the chorus uses a guitar arpegiated chord with  an old western style, lost in a confused reverb.

"Lay Low" chants saturated bass note on the guitar, in a slow tempo a bit faster than the previous titles on the F, Eb, and G notes.

"Weekender baby" is played by an acoustic folk guitar on two chords only (Bb maj. Tonic and F maj. Dominant) accompanying a conventional melody that could be one of the themes of another "great artist" well known as a top model too.

"Let me go" is based on 4 repetitive notes in the keys of  C maj., A min, Mi min. and G maj., punctuated by a "muted"  bass guitar.

"Good man" contains the same piano "gymmick"  as already used in "Where to start", based on repeated chords oscillating, once again, between D min. and A min., with guitar accents lovated  on the second and fourth beats of the bar.

"Worth Saying" still alternates two intervals "C-E" and "B-E" terribly boring, backed by a bass drum on regular quarter notes.

The very light "Robin Miller" takes us into a whole different world, with sustained chords punctuated by arpeggios of a trippy guitar vibrato  in F min, Bb 7, Eb maj 7 and Sol 7.

The last track "So still" is no exception to the rule. On a very basic slow tempo , it proceeds in its introduction by two ordinary chords :  Fa maj and A min. (again !)



Certainly, this production aims intimate, and takes place in a minimalist "Lay Low" atmosphere , a report that does not erase its poverty, generating boredom. Some media will cry genius, not us. Miss Lou Doillon is undoubtedly a beautiful top model and actress by the force of things, but certainly not a singer. Concerning the final result, it perfectly matches the poverty of the voice. Not recommended for depressive people ...

Damien Berland (Composer)