Photo credit: Justin Reissman
Release Date: 04/21/2023
Label: Self Released
AMADOUR has released their debut EP, “Western Movie Dream,” and the project is an interesting blend of Liberace and Lana Del Rey. The music itself is incredibly beautiful and clearly comes from an insanely talented Pianist, it’s beyond impressive. There is a sense of confidence and clarity from AMADOUR; their skills on the Piano are beyond their years. Unfortunately, the worlds collided but not in the right way.
The song titles and lyrics feel too intentional while the music itself feels effortless; it paints a blurry picture of who AMADOUR is as an artist. From the album artwork to the poetry interludes; I feel like they are trying to sell me the Lana Del Rey fantasy while I am more interested in what they would bring to the table as an artist.
It’s clear that they have a voice, intention and talent; that isn’t in question. It’s more about finding and knowing who you are and what you want your art to be. We already have Lana Del Rey, so… who is AMADOUR?
The record begins with “Before the Grapes Ripen” and I was immediately blown away; again… the piano is *chefs kiss*; but when the vocal hits, I had a feeling of confusion. The production could have used more mixing; the volume of the vocals in comparison to the music, for lack of a better word, is jarring. With that said, there are some incredibly beautiful moments in the song. When we reach the end, AMADOUR hits a beautiful, soft high note that would have loved to live throughout the track.
From there, we move into “Velvet Sky – Poem Pt. 1” which simply doesn’t feel authentic. It’s not even that it’s not a beautiful poem, but it feels like someone else’s words; like I’ve heard this before. I also wish that the poem was spoken softly and, again, the mixing could have evened everything out; that really could have changed the whole experience.
The third track is also their debut single, “Two Hands Holding Me,” and again — top notch music, it feels like it belongs in a film. The problem that this project keeps running into is the mixing and vocal delivery. Knowing when to belt, when to be soft is part of the game. Just because you can get a lot of power behind your voice, doesn’t mean it’s going to serve the song or experience.
The lyrics of “Two Hands Holding Me” are probably the strongest on the record, as well. Almost like this is the song that should have had this vibe; and perhaps they could have explored in their creativity a bit more for the others.
Then we go into our second and final poetry track, “Wild Mustangs Poem Pt.2” (not to be confused with “White Mustang” by Lana Del Rey); and it provokes more questions than anything. What feels almost frustrating is it’s clear that AMADOUR is talented and has a lot of creativity; I just wish I wasn’t getting a re-packaged project.
Our final track is the title track, “Western Movie Dream” and it begins with a beautiful scale and melody that you could listen to for hours. It’s reminiscent of Billy Joel’s “Goodnight Saigon”, in the best way. But, the lyrics and the vocal delivery leave something to be desired.
With all of this said, I am personally excited to see where AMADOUR goes in their career; like I’ve mentioned, there is a clear talent and vision. I am eager to see them grow and find their own space in the music industry.
Give “Western Movie Dream” a listen to yourself below; it’s definitely a project that deserves some attention.