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Mystic Rumba by Arthur H

CD Release. Arthur H : Mystic Rumba

By Matthieu Boisseau

'Mystic Rumba” is Arthur H's thirteenth studio album with 24 titles selected from last ten years of his repertoire. But more than a Best Of, this retrospective is all delivered as brand new recordings with just his voice and the piano.
After the thrilling whirlwind of guitars, machines and grooves of “L'Homme du monde”, which earned him Pop/Rock Album of the Year 2009 at Victoires de la Musique, Arthur H Mystic Rumba is a private reflection, alone, behind his piano. With audacious reinterpretations of his past songs, Jacques Higelin's son brings a real love of blues and soul with a stylish piano and great lyrics. Surprisingly enough, he makes this album be true novelty, despite the fact it is a cover albums.
Arthur H, alone, behind his piano
Arthur H, alone, behind his piano
However, I am not fully satisfied by this Mystic Rumba. As Arthur H is only accompanied by the piano, his voice becomes too grating to be harmonious. Why did he drop the successful melody of his previous albums like in Adieu Tristesse ? In Mystic Rumba, the delivery is dramatically minimalist, and turns, in my opinion, boring. Nevertheless, whether you like his voice or not, you cannot deny that this album worth the glimpse at least for the originality of its radical reinterpretations.
Final verdict : Average. Arthur H's piano-voice attempt is audacious but I just think that his rough edged voice is not suited for that.
Arthur H is performing in London as part of the London Jazz Festival 2010 on November 19th at the Queen Elizabeth Hall


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