Album Review – The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath – 2009

Bonfires on the Heath - 2009. Kind of looks like lepracy with flowers.

Ever start listening to a new album and in with 5 seconds of the first song you are tapping your feet, bobbing your head and falling completely in love with what you are hearing? Thats what happened with the opening track of “The Clientelle’s” album “Bonfires on the Heath”. The opening track, “I Wonder Who We Are” is everything that an opening track should be. Has the feeling of some romantic Parisian montage scene in a 60’s romantic comedy. Feel like I loved everything about that track. Upbeat tempo, subtle use of horns and a liberal dose of “ba baba ba ba baba’s” all make me want to twirl arm in arm with my non existent love in front of the Eiffel tower. Not sure where this French vibe is coming from but its their, at least for me. Possibly from the opening lyrics in the song, which are almost whispered by a seductive voice that sounds like he is trying to sell you perfume.

The Clientele – I Wonder Who We Are – MP3

Think that I might just really appreciate a song that can take me somewhere else without making it obvious where that somewhere else is. This might be my issue with “The Very Best”. Ok I get it. Its an African sound. Fun enough, but don’t they play a more authentic version of this in …Africa?

You know who probably makes killer African music? Africans

After an opener as perfect “I wonder who we are?”, the rest of Bonfires had to be great…. Except that it wasn’t. Felt like the remaining 11 tracks were like crappier copies of the first song. Just with less soul. Kind of like ‘Pet Cemetery’ songs. No more exuberant “ba ba’s”, the horns were more muted and my imaginary destination more foggy.

Pretty sure that I am never gonna let an album do this to me again. From now on, no high expectations until after listening to at least three songs. Until that third song is reached I plan on holding back on any emotion and or movement that may otherwise be released due to the music. I just don’t think I can be hurt like that again. Why did you break my heart Clientele? At least we will always have Paris.

Ever get an album only to realize that the only good song is the first one?
What is you opinion on “The Very Best”?
Do you feel the Parisian vibe?

2 out of 5 stars.


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