Album Review: St. Germain (self-titled)

St. Germain, the stage name for french musician Ludovic Navarre, has been recording music since the early 1990s, but his latest, self-titled work is only his 4th full-length LP to be released, and his first in 15 years. While St. Germain's earlier album blended jazz and pop, his latest album brings Afro-pop sounds into the mix with a plethora of exotic instruments while still maintaining clean and high quality production. Several tracks on the album utilize the staccatto sounds of the N'goni and Kora instruments, while multiple others have African vocalists on the few non-instrumental tracks. However, it is the instrumental tracks where Navarre's skill as a producer really stand out, building towards choruses with several layers of melodies, from the steady drums to the meandering string solos. The standout instrumental track is "Hanky Panky," a funky tune that illustrates St. Germain at the top of their game. In the end, St. Germain is nothing if not original, full of new sounds and daring writing and production.

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