Published Jun 18, 2020Montreal electronic artist Poirier fuses global sounds in his Soft Power release, combining sounds from Brazil, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. The album plays like a curation of infectious dance tunes taken from the worlds of reggaeton, dancehall and Afrobeat, but the playlist feel of the album's first half comes across as too disjointed.
"Pull Up Dat" features passionate vocals from Red Fox, but the production falls just short of the energy necessary to achieve liftoff. It isn't until about halfway through the project that the music becomes more original and interesting. Standout track "The Junction" features electronic instrumentation and minimal vocals, marking perhaps the greatest departure from Soft Power's globetrotting aesthetic. The second half goes in a more electronic direction, taking bolder risks by incorporating strange musical directions while maintaining a dance-friendly BPM. "Forma" features electronic dance pop that could soundtrack a fashion show. "Coconut Beach" is a more relaxed ending for the album, with quirky 8-bit sounding instrumentation and beautifully soft strings.
The back half of Soft Power gets more international and innovative in its stylistic exploration of the myriad genres influencing it, but its weaker first half is hard to ignore. It's as if this project is two albums combined into one. (Wonderwheel)