The Alps

Le Voyage

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Simultaneously spacy and pastoral, Le Voyage is like the soundtrack to an imaginary sci-fi/western; a vivid setting for a story that hasn’t been written yet. While it would seem that a juxtaposition like that might be too jarring, the Alps pull it off casually enough that it feels perfectly natural, as if it’s strange that other bands don’t transition from swirling, analog synths to acoustic guitar. What helps to pull the whole thing together is that the album never tries to assert itself on you, but rather, it bubbles up around the listener, allowing them to float off into its pastoral soundscapes. The use of shorter, strategically placed ambient tracks also helps the album flow gracefully as it hops genres. The sound collage of “Marzipan” creates a logical link between the sparse guitar/piano arrangement of “Drop In” and the driving percussion of “Crossing the Sands,” building a bridge between the two songs as it helps to ramp up the intensity. This is not an album that will reach out and grab you by the collar, but is more like a landscape to be explored. Those willing to wander its lonely expanses will find that Le Voyage is a very satisfying listening experience, but one that requires the patience to simply let an album unfold on its own terms.

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