Orwell

Following Days

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    8
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On its debut, French pop trio Orwell combines its love of modern chamber pop, '60s orchestral arrangements, and new wave. It's a winning combination, as Following Days glides through easygoing yet carefully constructed pieces. Orwell's influence from electro is heard best on "Live On," which has a pleasant synthetic beat and echoing vocals. They sing in English with just as much ease as French, which helps keep a steady romantic vibe. Guitarist Mederic Gontier of fellow French band Tahiti 80 helps out on the opening track, and French multi-instrumentalist Fugu drops by for production help. Otherwise, the other star of the record is the Attic String Quartet, which supplies the lovely string section. The cover of "Clair" by Gilbert O'Sullivan fits right in, while a surprising rendition of the Prodigy's "Breathe," though not on the U.S. release, shows a band that can successfully blend several influences and styles.

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