The debate as to whether Euro-rock is a legitimate musical style is ongoing, but the second album by Philipp Poisel nevertheless embodies everything that is good about European musicians playing guitars. Bis Nach Toulouse is a simple, introspective record based around acoustic guitar strumming and intentionally weak, wavering vocals; even in his most dynamic moments, Poisel sounds like he is using his last breath to say things that really matter to him, which are usually straightforward things about love and "looking into her eyes." But while this may seem a ready-made description for a satiric bashing of an ill-advised singer/songwriter effort, the album, in fact, comes across as a touching set of tunes, but laconic because less is more, not because Poisel doesn't know how to flesh out the songs. He does, actually: a number of cuts, especially in the former half of the album, rise from simple beginnings to a larger-than-life sound, complete with pianos, choirs, strings, and U2-style droning guitar textures, all without losing the emotion -- a bit like Coldplay -- though still less lavishly arranged and polished. But the good thing is that the impact isn't lessened when Poisel just croons in his subdued voice with nothing else to back him up but his guitar; ballads like "Liebe Meines Lebens" are a crafty understatement where the notes he does not pluck matter as much as the ones he plays. Euro-rock is music that utilizes simple, even unoriginal means to create a vibe of gentle melancholy that, at its best, recalls both shaded streets of small German or French towns and all the romances you've ever had, and helps you believe it was all worth it; and Bis Nach Toulouse fits the bill like few others.
AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko