Aug 2011 09

Poésie Noire - Sense of Purpose
Poésie Noire
Category: Electronica
Album: Sense of Purpose
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Revived from suspended animation, Poésie Noire reemerges bringing both the good and the bad of the ’80s with them.


Almost 20 years after disbanding, Belgian gothic new wave act Poésie Noire returns with Sense of Purpose. Though Poésie Noire has experimented with a wide variety of sounds and styles throughout the years, resembling everyone from Front 242 to The Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus, this latest foray is yet another redefinition of their sound, though more closely related to their shortlived pop reinvention as TBX than their orignal namesake, with this latest electro-pop experiment largely feeling like an attempt at hitting a few of the ’80s staples the band missed first time around.

Though the album kicks off decently with the melancholy, but vocally flat “The Air” and the strong beat and electro goth arrangement of “Hangman,” things unfortunately take a turn towards the excessively poppy with “Eureka” and “We’ll Die Dancing,” mixing in folksy vocals and cheesy lyrics that manage to cripple decent, but vintage synth hooks. “Choosers” is thankfully much less heavy handed with the vocals, going for a more sultry feeling and allowing this reasonably simple track to shine. The album continues to teeter back and forth between cheesy ’80s pop tracks like “The Radio Plays” and glimpses of the grim, gothic edge of the old Poésie Noire like that found in “Forget the Unforgettable,” leaving the album inconsistent and lacking a solid identity.

Fans who have held out these nearly two decades hoping for a return of the old Poésie Noire are going to be sorely disappointed by Sense of Purpose. The difference in style is even more drastic than the difference between Joy Division’s darkest work and New Order’s peppiest. There are several quality songs to be found, but roughly half the album comes across an a cheesy relic from the ’80s. Sense of Purpose absolutely has some great moments, but the not-so-great moments are just as prevalent and, unfortunately, much more memorable, ultimately making it feel like the album would have been more appropriately titled Lack of Direction.
Track list:

  1. The Air
  2. Hangman
  3. Eureka
  4. We’ll Die Dancing
  5. Choosers
  6. Dream One
  7. The Radio Plays
  8. Die Sonne
  9. Forget the Unforgettable
  10. Uncertain Smile 2010

Poesie Noire Website
Poesie Noire MySpace
Body Electric
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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