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Jamie-Lee Smit - Mon Amour Monique (2015) - Review

Band: Jamie-Lee Smit
Album title: Mon Amour Monique
Release date: 30 March 2015
Label: Epictronic

01. Club 27
02. Revivre
03. Tara
04. Bye Bye You
05. Route 66
06. L'amour De Freddy
07. Comme Un Soldat
08. Sur La Piste Des Elephants
09. Histoire De Serpent
10. Waiting For My Ghost

Jamie-Lee Smit, known to the metal audience by being a singer in the band Azylya, and known to some others by being a model, is now presenting us her debut solo album. Those of you who are expecting something metallic in the vein of Azylya will be disappointed because Jamie on Mon Amour Monique (engl. My Love Monique) is serving with radio friendly music, something that could be classified as indie-new wave-rock with strong approach towards 90s power-pop. Well, to be truthful the final output is quite satisfying and Jamie shows that she has a lot of talent and can row without distress also in this waters, yet in my opinion her voice in here is much more noticeable and distinct than in her main band. Ten songs on this album were written by Italian composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Ricky Fankaz Daga, while Jamie wrote the lyrics of which seven are in French (with some English choruses) and three of them completely in English. Now, if the agitated picture on the front cover might predict something turbulent and edgy, the truth is that on this album you'll find something else, serene melodies with emotional patterns, vivacious compositions and some dramatic yet melancholic moments.

Mon Amour Monique is above all an easy listen with plenty of lively moments, it's not a complex and complicated album but still it holds enough dynamics to make it interesting from start to finish. Vast guitar lines with many sparkly riffs and some acoustic passages do sometimes remind to the latest opus from French Alcest, even though the comparision ends right here because Jamie-Lee Smit's music is not that much atmospheric and post-rockish, it's more playful, sunny if you want and is a refreshing thing to put it on the player between some demanding albums. It's like a fountain of spring and you'll be overtaken by those emotions already with the cosy mid-tempo opener "Club 27". Nice drive and pathos enriched with many synth layers and strong playful rhythms that shine best in more upbeat tracks like it's "Revivre", "Route 66" or in the catchy retro "Tara" and in a bit darker "Bye Bye You", both with a nice sing-along choruses. Jamie's voice is nothing that very exceptional but still good, powerful enough and soothing that it fits very well in this music, yet it gives kind of nice flow and adds a bit of melancholy into the overall picture, like for example in the next two, sweet, rather sad, but nicely building up and two of the most dramatic songs in here - "L'amour De Freddy" and "Comme Un Soldat". Jamie really shines in full splendour right here, but unfortunatelly her voice fails in higher tones on otherwise nicely composed and rather atmospheric song "Sur La Piste Des Elephants" or in the last one "Waiting For My Ghost". Still, beside those minor lapses, considering also the fact that some more diversity wouldnn't hurt, Jamie-Lee Smit did one hell of refreshing album and she has choosen the best possible time of the year to release it. I can imagine people walking through the green fields, right now when the nature is waking up from the winter sleep with Mon Amour Monique playing in their headphones.

The album is as well very well produced and I believe that it will bring some positiveness into hearts of those who'll dare to give it a listen or two. Now, give a chance to the beautiful Jamie because she did a mesmeririzing job on this album and showed her abilities even better than in her parent-band Azylya. Mon Amour Monique is evidently not a dark album and it barely fits into the musical schemes of this webmagazine, so I was wondering if I should write a review or not, but I believe that many of our readers will find some peace of mind while listening to those ten soothing tracks.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7,5/10