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Iron Maiden|Senjutsu

Senjutsu

Iron Maiden

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It took six years for Iron Maiden to produce a follow-up to their sprawling The Book of Souls (2015). When you think about it, it's not much: The Book of Souls was a double album, and is its successor, Senjutsu. Taking into account a year and a half of pandemic during which everything happened in slow motion, it is quite frankly spectacular to see the band so productive considering the age of its members, their numerous parallel activities, and a past that seems so full that one wonders what new things the six guys can have to tell us. Senjutsu soon gives us the answer on this point: like AC/DC or Motörhead, the band's universe is now so well defined that all Maiden has to do is to tick the boxes and the songs they write will sound like them, to the delight of their fans. Of course, we're not into computer composing, but we have to admit that all the ingredients are there: the epic side, some excellent runs, plenty of dual guitar, the bass of the leader Steve Harris at the forefront, and Bruce Dickinson (vocals) always classy in his role of master of ceremonies, who knows that today, his 63 years and the cancer he overcame don't necessarily allow him to perform the vocal acrobatics he did in 1982—which is a convincing proof of intelligence. So the question is, what are we to make of all this? An ambitious record in terms of its length (the last three tracks run to more than ten minutes each), which contains some great successes (the single The Writing on the Wall, or the magnificent Darkest Hour, both co-written by Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith), but also some numbers which would have been more effective losing several minutes by appropriately slimming down. There is a point where a riff repeated over and over again becomes redundant, even repetitive, and if Maiden's songs have often been long and compartmentalised, they are now still longer, but the number of compartments has decreased. Senjutsu is far from being a bad record, as Iron Maiden is a band much too intelligent (and too well managed) to ever make an egocentric record or the famous "an album too far" that the critics are looking for as soon as you talk about a "dinosaur band". It is all simply part of a continuity that the band's committed fans—and there are millions of them—will savour with a smile. This performance is eminently to be respected. © Charlélie Arnaud/Qobuz


 


Imany - Voodoo Cello (tcz9w0z3iicma, fvzgbr8sb0s6a)


For her third album, Imany covers her favourite songs with an ensemble of eight cellos. While in most cross-over albums the performers surround themselves with arrangers and producers expert in their field, the Provençal-born singer is in full control of the whole project. Voodoo Cello opens with glissandi evoking ambulance sirens, as if to signify the underlying madness of the Jacques Brel song that Imany dresses up here with her bewitching voice (Ne me quitte pas, in the English version). Another standard implying madness: Cat Steven's Wild World is elegantly performed by the singer and her supporting musicians. The album also features many of the hits usually associated with the group FM, which are endowed with a certain gravity here: Elton John's I’m Still Standing, Imagine Dragons' Believer, the Russian duo t.A.T.u's All The Things She Said, Madonna's Like a Prayer and Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart. For this last track—one of the most surprising on the album—the strident and dissonant sounds of the cellos inevitably recall the gothic atmosphere of the setting to the Welsh singer's famous original video. And in the "curiosities" category, we should mention the very eco-friendly Les Voleurs d’eau, a forgotten track by Henri Salvador from 1989. As a bonus track, Imany offers a remixed version of Black's Wonderful Life, in which the cellos are accompanied by a club rhythm. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz

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Senjutsu

Iron Maiden

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1
Senjutsu
00:08:20

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Composer, Guitar, Writer - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

2
Stratego
00:04:59

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Composer, Guitar, Writer - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Guitar - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

3
The Writing On The Wall
00:06:13

Steve Harris, Keyboards, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Writer - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

4
Lost In A Lost World
00:09:31

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Guitar - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

5
Days Of Future Past
00:04:03

Steve Harris, Keyboards, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Composer, Guitar, Writer - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

6
The Time Machine
00:07:09

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Composer, Guitar, Writer - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Guitar - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

DISC 2

1
Darkest Hour
00:07:20

Steve Harris, Keyboards, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Composer, Guitar, Writer - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

2
Death Of The Celts
00:10:20

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Guitar - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

3
The Parchment
00:12:38

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Guitar - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

4
Hell On Earth
00:11:19

Steve Harris, Composer, Keyboards, Writer, Bass, CoProducer - Janick Gers, Guitar - Dave Murray, Guitar - Bruce Dickinson, Vocals - Iron Maiden, MainArtist - Denis Caribaux, Engineer - Adrian Smith, Guitar - Nicko McBrain, Drums - Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley, Producer, Mixer - Ade Emsley, Masterer

under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., © 2021 Iron Maiden LLP Under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited., ℗ 2021 Iron Maiden LLP

Album Description

It took six years for Iron Maiden to produce a follow-up to their sprawling The Book of Souls (2015). When you think about it, it's not much: The Book of Souls was a double album, and is its successor, Senjutsu. Taking into account a year and a half of pandemic during which everything happened in slow motion, it is quite frankly spectacular to see the band so productive considering the age of its members, their numerous parallel activities, and a past that seems so full that one wonders what new things the six guys can have to tell us. Senjutsu soon gives us the answer on this point: like AC/DC or Motörhead, the band's universe is now so well defined that all Maiden has to do is to tick the boxes and the songs they write will sound like them, to the delight of their fans. Of course, we're not into computer composing, but we have to admit that all the ingredients are there: the epic side, some excellent runs, plenty of dual guitar, the bass of the leader Steve Harris at the forefront, and Bruce Dickinson (vocals) always classy in his role of master of ceremonies, who knows that today, his 63 years and the cancer he overcame don't necessarily allow him to perform the vocal acrobatics he did in 1982—which is a convincing proof of intelligence. So the question is, what are we to make of all this? An ambitious record in terms of its length (the last three tracks run to more than ten minutes each), which contains some great successes (the single The Writing on the Wall, or the magnificent Darkest Hour, both co-written by Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith), but also some numbers which would have been more effective losing several minutes by appropriately slimming down. There is a point where a riff repeated over and over again becomes redundant, even repetitive, and if Maiden's songs have often been long and compartmentalised, they are now still longer, but the number of compartments has decreased. Senjutsu is far from being a bad record, as Iron Maiden is a band much too intelligent (and too well managed) to ever make an egocentric record or the famous "an album too far" that the critics are looking for as soon as you talk about a "dinosaur band". It is all simply part of a continuity that the band's committed fans—and there are millions of them—will savour with a smile. This performance is eminently to be respected. © Charlélie Arnaud/Qobuz


 


Imany - Voodoo Cello (tcz9w0z3iicma, fvzgbr8sb0s6a)


For her third album, Imany covers her favourite songs with an ensemble of eight cellos. While in most cross-over albums the performers surround themselves with arrangers and producers expert in their field, the Provençal-born singer is in full control of the whole project. Voodoo Cello opens with glissandi evoking ambulance sirens, as if to signify the underlying madness of the Jacques Brel song that Imany dresses up here with her bewitching voice (Ne me quitte pas, in the English version). Another standard implying madness: Cat Steven's Wild World is elegantly performed by the singer and her supporting musicians. The album also features many of the hits usually associated with the group FM, which are endowed with a certain gravity here: Elton John's I’m Still Standing, Imagine Dragons' Believer, the Russian duo t.A.T.u's All The Things She Said, Madonna's Like a Prayer and Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart. For this last track—one of the most surprising on the album—the strident and dissonant sounds of the cellos inevitably recall the gothic atmosphere of the setting to the Welsh singer's famous original video. And in the "curiosities" category, we should mention the very eco-friendly Les Voleurs d’eau, a forgotten track by Henri Salvador from 1989. As a bonus track, Imany offers a remixed version of Black's Wonderful Life, in which the cellos are accompanied by a club rhythm. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz

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