Review: Paris – 50/50

Review: Paris – 50/50

AOR Heaven (March 26th 2021)

Reviewer: Paul Saripo

Paris are a collaboration of two long standing friends Frédéric Dechavanne (keyboards / Lead Vocal) and Sébastien Montet (Guitar and backing vocals) who are both proud Parisians and talented songwriters.

50/50‘ is Paris‘ third album.

Teaming up again, for a second time with Dave Bartlett (bass), Rob McEwen (Drums) and guest guitarist Robert Säll all brought into mix, with Steve Newman (production / Mastering) who also provided some additional backing vocals.

Before listening to Paris’ new album ‘50/50‘ I was unsure what to expect, so began with a fresh pair of monitors and a large pot of coffee.

Kicking off with ‘Breathe In, Breathe Out‘, it opens with a rich sounding lead vocal, flanked with guitar riffs building to a tasteful finish. ‘Ashes To Ashes‘ brings a Swedish melodic feel. Throughout the album it became increasingly notable that lead guitars feature prominently with the keyboards of Frédéric Dechavanne.

Crazy Over You‘s guitar solo whilst short, adds further heat to an already burning track. ‘Touch Me (With Your Eyes)‘ is well written with robust synths yet the vocal line seemed to climb a little, which for me detracted from the overall sound.

Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind‘ has a powerful delivery, stronger vocals reflecting a much higher energy level, a couple of key changes still maintains energy with couple of fantastic guitar solos. ‘Surrender‘ brings percussion and base riffs to the forefront, framing the track with a weighty feel.

Moving on to ‘Some Heart‘ continues the base string prominence, with foot tapping ability. Plenty of energy in this track waiting to be freed. ‘Superhero‘ brings guitar and synthesiser, warming up for the next track to follow. By now it was well understood that a balance is maintained between percussion, strings and synth.

Half Of Me‘ features a more prominent synthesiser in tandem with strong guitar fret work to balance the sound into a good mixture that jumps off the album, this works well and has a classic 80s vibe.

No Bridge Too Far‘ opens with a frantic prickly sound that made me feel on edge, like nails scraped down a blackboard would have achieved back in the day. This edgy feeling quickly subsided and gave way to pleasing melodies and riffs In keeping with the rest of the album. Like all interesting things, I had to go back to the beginning of the song and relisten.

Game Changer‘ was just that, as a new listener to Paris I now have reached a better understanding of the music here and impressed with the writing and ability to maintain originality.

The album concludes with ‘Valentine’s Day‘, maintaining that edge of originality to a familiar line, that brings the album to a fading finish, ready to reload the album for another airing.

So much detail in each song, itching for solos to emerge from each musician, I feel this may hold some solid live material to follow.