Hedonist, eagerly confirms the Parisian producer as more than a one-man hit-making...
Jack Smith 2004-06-17
Having produced a wealth of club hits such as his remix of Salif Keita's "Madan", "Rocking Music", "Edony", "Heart Of Africa" and the recent "Everybody", it's safe to assume that Martin Solveig has been blessed with something of a Midas Touch.
Part of the Gallic 'Brat Pack' that includes Claude Monnet, DJ Gregory, Bob Sinclar, Julien Jabre and Dimitri From Paris, Solveig surprised everyone with his debut album Sur La Terre (2002) by blending house, funk, soul and disco with the more esoteric sounds of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
His new album, Hedonist, eagerly confirms the Parisian producer as more than a one-man hit-making machine. The requisite club bangers - "Everybody", "Something Better", "Rejection" - are present and correct, but as with his debut Solveig deftly turns his hand to hip hop, soul, afrobeat... even romantic ballads.
Having written 90% of the lyrics and the music for the project, this is very much Solveig's gig, but the contributions of the two main vocalists - Michael Jackson sound-a-like Jay Sebag ("Something Better", "Something About You", "If You Tell Me More") and fifty-year old bluesman Lee Fields (the amazing voice on "Everybody") - play a significant role in making the album feel so accessible.
Solveig's afro-obsession continues on "Black Voices" (a song that borrows it's title from a recent Tony Allen song), but the overriding vibe on the album is soul. Almost all the cuts have a distinctly soulful edge regardless of the genre, which - along with the spacious, simplistic production - lends the project an emotive, easy-going feel.
Hedonist, like Sur La Terre, is a collection of warmly infectious tracks, built not just for dancefloors but for headphones too. It shows Solveig as a solid songwriter and a man of good and varied taste; a born entertainer who understands the value of keeping things soulful and simple.
Reviwer: Paul Sullivan