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Romantic EP

After a rather fitful history full of different lineups, Jacques seems to have settled down for the release of this short EP. Of course, for Anthony Reynolds (the main fellow behind Jacques), settling down doesn't really mean a whole lot, and over the course of 15 minutes and 5 songs, he touches on just about every different style that he can. The main thing behind it all is a smooth croon, but as the photos in the liner notes reveal, even the soft spoken singer seems to live a life of globetrotting partying.

The disc opens with a cover of Migala's "Primera Parada," (from their Arde release) which sounds fine enough, but doesn't really add anything to the amazing orignal other than some slight instrumentation and different vocals. "Serenade" follows it up with stripped-down backing instrumentation (subtle drones behind acoustic guitar), and Reynolds holds his own with rich vocals adapted from a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca. As if to try things just for trying them, "All Of Me Loves A Little Piece Of You" jaunts along with the casio-pop feel of an early Magnetic Fields track, while "Winterpollen" again slows things down with a back-alley loungey slow burner that's probably the best of the small batch of tracks.

Just when you've gotten use to his warm voice, in drops the final track of "Last Night In Tremorfa," a haunting instrumental track that sounds like it literally could have been pulled from the 4AD backcatalogue of This Mortal Coil tracks with it's rising and falling synth strings and clanging low-end percussion. In the end, the disc flys by so quickly that it's almost hard to digest. Reynolds proves that he has the pipes to warrant naming the EP "Romantic" and some interesting ideas, but it's almost too short of a tease to get excited about what comes next. Maybe that's the point, though, and perhaps he'll just disappear for two more years before launching a whole new batch of work.

Rating: 6