Album review-David Andre at his sparkling best


 The front and back covers of the CD

At first I thought it was coming from the FM radio station but the digital display on my music set indicated that it was the fourth track of a CD playing. Catching sight of a CD sleeve on a nearby table, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was actually David Andre’s latest album playing. It must have been my wife who had put the CD on while I was in the land of Nod…

David had dropped by my office the day before to bring me a copy of the CD and I was just waiting for the ‘right’ time to listen to it. But, after having had this unexpected avant goût, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to listen to the whole album right there and then.

Entitled Mon anvi sant pour ou, the album is an eclectic mix of styles in all our three national languages – Creole, English and French. From the simple and melodious country ballads and pop-rock of the sixties and seventies, to the more esoteric Latin music, the album is a testimony to David’s versatility as a musician.

It is the artist’s fifth album after Nostalgie and Salle Verte (instrumental albums released in 1994 and 1996 respectively), Esper Sa Sanson (his first vocal album released in 2003) and Metisaz which came out almost seven years ago.

The new album opens with the title track Mon anvi sant pour ou, an exquisitely crafted piece with a strong Latin flavour, followed by En zour parey. These two songs are somehow enhanced by Antoinette Dodin’s mellifluous backing vocals. In fact Antoinette features in several other numbers on the album.

A patriot at heart, David never fails to sing the praises of his motherland whenever the occasion arises. The third song on this album, Je t’invite aux Seychelles, is one such song, which in fact won David first prize in a competition organised for this year’s Semaine de la Francophonie.

Mon Pei, song number nine, is also a powerful hymn of love for his beloved Seychelles.
Perhaps my favourites are ‘My Blue Guitar’ (the track that was playing when I woke up from my slumber), ‘I’ll be there’ (No. 5), ‘Driftwood’ (No. 7) and ‘Wonderful love’ (No. 8).

‘I’ll be there’ smacks of a Roch Voisine tune – with a pop-rock feel and strong acoustic presence. As for ‘Driftwood’ and ‘Wonderful love’ there’s no denying the fact that the influence of Neil Diamond’s music has had a profound impact on David as a singer/songwriter.

Poetry has always been an essential ingredient in David’s compositions as is evident in Mwa mazin ou and Pa zanmen bliye (tracks 10 & 9 respectively).

Being first and foremost a guitarist, David invariably dedicates a track on his albums to showcase his guitar playing prowess – and Gitane Creole (track No. 6) truly pays tribute to this guitar virtuoso. Played with such verve and aplomb in Gypsy King style, this instrumental piece – a celebration of love, happiness, joy and freedom -- truly shows why David is considered a master of his art.

Wrapping up the twelve-track album is another instrumental piece – a heady fusion of the sensual moutya beat and the exotic flamenco rhythm. Although David might seem to possess an esoteric musical taste, there’s no doubt that his feet are firmly rooted in his culture and all that is Kreol Seselwa!

In a nutshell David’s album is a professionally produced piece of work that will surely please fans and lovers of exquisite music in general. Not only is the music sublime, but the packaging of the CD, which comes with a small booklet containing the lyrics of all the songs on the album, gives the whole work an extra special cachet. The sleeve design and packaging is the creative work of Karishma Moolraj who, along with other talented guitarists such as Norman Lucas and David Françoise, has also accompanied David in several of the songs on this album.

Recorded and mixed by Eddy Telemaque of Relation Studio, La Misère, the album costs R150 and is on sale at various outlets around Mahé including Ray’s Music Room, Premier Building.

Robert Andre

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