Nicole Sabouné - Miman (2015)

Miman

Tracklist

  1. The Body
  2. Right Track
  3. Bleeding Faster
  4. Under Stars (For the Lovers)
  5. Lifetime
  6. Rip This World
  7. We Are No Losers
  8. Withdraw
  9. Frozen

Strictly spoken this isn't even a 2017 release, but Miman wasn't available for the unfortunates who don't live in Sweden until now. Century Media saw the potential and is now distributing the album world wide. Hopefully it will sell well so we will see a re-release of Nicole Sabounés first album too. Anyway, researching for her I was quite surprised to find out that she was a contender for Swedens version of "X-Factor". Anyway, Miman is not 08/15 Pop, this is the deep and meaningful version of The Cure and it's not only a hommage to Wave and Post-Punk music - it demands a place up with the great classics.

The album starts with the slow building beauty The Body. A choir, a simple baseline, pummeling drums, reverb and that special feel that made Disintegration such a special album. This opener makes it clear right from the start where it is coming from. Then Sabouné starts to sing. Of course everyone will compare her to Siouxie Sioux, but her strong and capable voice does not need comparisons to shine. The melodies are dark and catchy. This track does not need a huge hook to be succesful of delivering its message, instead it manages to remain dense for the whole time. A great opener that manages to wake curiosity for what else the album has in store.

Right Track hits similar tones and adds another layer in form of organs, which help developing the ghostly feeling that surrounds this release, whereas Bleeding Faster sounds a bit like a Doom Metal song without the Metal. In theory an easy song, with incredible intense atmosphere and a nearly choral like refrain. When Nicole starts shouting "This is fucking outrageous" with a nearly child like voice, it once again adds another level of intensity.

Under Stars is a turning point for the album. It's the central ballad on the album. A simple song, which instrumentation mainly supporting the vocal melody. Folowing this calming piece the album changes directions slightly. The vibe becomes more upbeat. Lifetime and Rips This World have proper hooklines and might well be the singles of this piece, if those were still a thing. We are Losers surprises with a different kind of bass sound, which gives the song a unique feel on the album and with Withdraw the album originally had its final moment. With 7 minutes this is by far the albums longest track. It's also the most haunting one, sparsely scored with a slow build up this is a typical album closer.

But this re-release features another song. Frozen is a cover version of Madonnas classic from 1998 and while roughly staying true to the original it adds some outstanding guitar work. While the original is already quite captivating, the drum sound, the Western guitar sound and the doomy feel of this version make this interpretation a noteworthy one. With this track Nicole Sabouné sounds closer to Anna von Hauswolff than The Cure.

What remains to be said in the end? Not much, but if you like your music dark or if Post-Punk or Gothic Rock hits a soft spot this is a no-brainer. It plays in the very highest league of the genre and I am not afraid to mention it in one breath with the likes of Cure's Disintegration. And even if you are not a fan of the genre, I urge you to give this one a try, it's just too good to not at least give it a chance.

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