Charles Valois – Girls 7.5
Charles Valois brings together a well-rounded little album. While small in size (under thirty minutes) it manages to be maniac-depressive, at one moment overwhelming happy, the next absolutely depressed. Nor does Charles hide where he’s from; indeed the closing song is dedicated to his roots in the University of Toronto. This is a strange, fluorescent, electronics-laden album full of emotional twists and turns. Occasionally ‘Girls’ even manages a sort of exhausted grandeur.
The opener begins with a lonely guitar before exploding into a series of synthesizers and drum machine beats. How it flows so effortlessly into the second song is incredible, Charles does a good job of creating the ‘blink miss it’ segue. A dance-like beat anchors the song as Charles sings ‘We are the girls’ despite the fact he does not sound female at all, but rather quite masculine. ‘Run to Soybomb’ has been out for a while as a single but it still remains infinitely entertaining. Here Charles creates the sound of a dying dance song; it is epic, sound and somewhat self-destructive. It may be one of the best tracks on the album. ‘Autumn (where are you?)’ asks what happened to the his favorite season or favorite person. Either way it appears to be on the sad side of things and is one of the less electronic tracks on the album. For the University-dedicated closer he lets the synthesizer build up over the course of the song before it overtakes his humanity.
Overall this is a strange approach to pop music, unstable and heavily emotional. It is a good album.