Black and white, epic, orchestral, cinematic, apocalyptic drama...These are the words I use to describe Woodkid’s new album, The Golden Age. The debut by Yoann Lemoine is a compilation of immense orchestration and outbursts of sounds that appear throughout the entire album. The title, Golden Age, seems to act as a distraction for what is really about to come, as Lemoine sings in the very beginning, “No I would not believe the light would ever go, but the golden age is over”. The story depicts the struggles of transitioning from childhood to adulthood and beyond, but it is portrayed in a darker setting, revealing the most conflicting experiences in the most dramatic sense.
French native, Yoann Lemoine is best known for his involvement in the production of music videos for pop superstars like Katey Perry and Taylor Swift. A decision led him from making videos to making music as well, but Lemoine is certainly no amateur. All his songs and music videos were made himself.
I was eagerly awaiting this album’s release after hearing various songs from the Woodkid EP. I noted his music as much more mature for a debut. The cinematic form gives his pop music a more sophisticated feel. This should have been Coldplay’s sound by now. Through one listen, I continuously felt the immense force that drives Woodkid’s music which left me only wanting more.
With tracks like “Run Boy Run” and “The Great Escape”, the album will feel triumphant. “Boat Song”, however, is a bittersweet piano tune that gives the album more depth to it. “I Love You” is a continuation of both music and lyrics off of “Run Boy Run”. It is also the poppiest tune on the album.
“The Shore” builds up with a full orchestra to be quite dramatic, but the chorus “Stabat Mater” sounds like it should be played in a battle scene. “Where I Live” is another piano piece that is possibly my favorite song on the album because the lyrics are brilliant and the music is mesmerizing. The most popular track is “Iron” which concludes the music video storyline.
The only problem I have with the album is that Yoann Lemoine does not show much emotion in his singing. At times his casual voice deters the intensity of the music, but it fits in very well with songs like "Where I Live" and the title track. Overall, I would definitely return to The Golden Age again and again, because it is beautifully arranged and full of authenticity. The songs are separate but equal, giving the album a nice flow, but what I enjoy most about this music is the story and how it is represented. This makes The Golden Age stand out among other albums of its kind.