précis (kranky, 2006)
Best of 2006 : stylus | the milk factory | lost at sea | almost cool | funtime ok | two way monologues
"Précis is a spectacular, fully realized debut...a breathtaking sonic landscape [that] sounds like nothing else you’ll hear this year. Rating: A" [Recommended Album]
"Album of the Week: Pioulard has proven a maturity and brilliance that some might expect from someone much older...[Précis is] a home-recorded masterpiece."
"An unexpected, but totally realized dark folk record...Pioulard has mastered his craft and style."
"The hazy and romantic melodies captured on Précis suggest an impressive knowledge of pop and a willingness to step outside its boundaries...[it is] a perfect album to fall in love to, and with."
"Hot Artist: A remarkably accomplished debut: hazy without disappearing into the background, immediately captivating but still full of things to discover on later listens. Four and a half stars [****1/2]"
"A debut of this caliber is rare, and most definitely worthy of all the hype...Not to be missed. 9/10"
"[Précis] haunts me with its bells, acoustic guitar, electrical bursts and Pioulard’s whispering voice. Each song brings with it a different emotion, leading me by the hand into my imagination. 8.9/10"
"Achingly gorgeous...[Précis] is easily among the year's best."
"La voix de Pioulard...nous guide en somnambule, et dans [son] forêt de micro-sensations, rien ne sert de coller une étiquette aux chansons qui ruissellent...4/4
"Michigan harbors many secrets, one of the most intriguing being singer-songwriter Benoît Pioulard. Précis is an intricate journey through heartbreak and solace...[and Pioulard's] intellectual curiosity reflects the aural landscape of his music."
"A poignant contrast in styles...beautifully combines textured electronic elements with live instrumentation [and a] mastery of nuance."
"Précis is gorgeous, blissed-out pop music of the highest order...a highlight of the year, to be sure, [and] one of the rare instances where the hype-making bloggers got it right!"
"The melodies are seizingly gorgeous, the lyrics are tender and comforting...[Précis] just might be the most perfect Winter record we've come across all year."
"Précis is evocative, nostalgic, romantic, intimate...Pioulard is as compositionally solid as Max Richter and as playfully complex as Mark Mothersbaugh."
"It is quite rare that a debut album this consistently engaging and impressive arrives; any listener whose interest lies somewhere between folk and dream-pop should find a copy of Précis."
"The quality of songwriting reveals itself when you wake up morning after morning with the tunes buzzing away in your head...listen, fall in love and then listen again – you won’t be disappointed."
"[A] dreamscape that delicately blurs the lines between joy and sorrow...Pioulard has a masterful hold on pop music with a subversive intent to darken and beautify its borders. 9/10"
"Perfectly formed pop songs...with clear evocative scope. One of the most interesting debut albums of the year."
"An incredible album full of songs that feel remarkably alive...very highly recommended."
"Pioulard is an excellent writer of moods...his images of spirit-filled desolation and romantic death feel easily approachable, universal beauties with youthful hope that I can believe in."
"Striking and so gorgeous -- static but crackling with energy, lo-fi but with myriad engaging layers of noise."
"Transfixing...Précis reveals Meluch to be a remarkable sonic alchemist."
"[Précis is] alarmingly self-assured and detailed for a debut...one of my favorite things I've heard all year."
"There is no denying the assurance, meticulousness and coherence of Précis. And if this is merely a shorthand introduction to what we can expect, then, mon dieu!"
"Simply put, Précis is a contender, and a beguiling, beautiful thing...Ambient acoustic? Folk-pop? Folktronica? Lord knows. Just plain gorgeous, that'll do."
"Gorgeous...Précis is a masterful necropolis, intimidating to enter and beautifully crusted with age."
"Meluch sings like a man confessing grievances while half-asleep, his lyrics hazy impressions as nebulous as the tunes themselves...It’s darned pretty."
"[Pioulard's] programming cracks in places and his melodies are downright poppy in others, leading into an album that has completely stuck in my head over the course of late summer and early fall. A very solid debut...8/10."
"It’s understated songwriting, though nevertheless sure of itself; fusing delicate, acoustic lamentations to patterns of static, touches of Kevin Shields-style feedback, and chiming, sun-dappled bells and field recordings...Gorgeous."
"A focused, mature work brimming with grace and beauty...suitable for the best [and] worst of times."
"Précis is 'precisely' amazing."
"Pop pearls from a parallel world...5 out of 5."
"A shockingly gorgeous debut LP."
"Précis may be the ultimate fall album...it’s something admirably crafted to last, that you can faithfully return to again and again, an objet d'art that you can really hold onto."
"Phenomenally good...[Pioulard] coats his washed-out, frosted vocals and gently strummed guitar melodies with a mysterious haze drawn from some distant time that only he has access to."
"The total experience of Précis is something less literal and more subjective...A solid debut."
"A debut of glacial majesty...[Pioulard's] serene voice swims through rattling chords in a translucent fog of misty tones and vaporous rhythm trails."
"A truly unique blend of music...Précis, as a whole and in part, is an extremely creative album - both musically and technically."
"As a whole, Précis is a morphine-drip fueled day dream...you’ll often feel like it’s over far too quickly."
"[Précis takes] time and effort to appreciate, but the deft craftsmanship, nearly boundless creativity, and emotive power inherent in his compositions provide sufficient compensation for the effort."
"Précis blends electronica and folk into one unique and fantastic sound...Pioulard, while still extremely unknown, shows as much potential as any debut artists of the year."
"A softly shimmering gem...[the] songs are like fragile forests built on softly drifting clouds. Wrapped inside a soft cocoon of soothing sound, Précis travels daintily on the thin, dark edge between dreams and sleep."
"If [a] graph had a z-axis from ignore at -10, to CHECK THIS OUT NOW at 10, I’d be consistently plotting this at the upper positive end."
"A lovely little pop album with brilliantly molded electronic and abstract edges."
"I can't remember the last time I heard just a guy, his guitar and some minute percussion and had it feel so epic."
"Subtle and engaging, Précis abounds with warmth and delicacy whilst retaining a darkness that’s haunting...4/5"
"[Pioulard's] voice is delicate and soothing, and his music floats in and out of acoustic pop, field recordings, and lush ambient lullabies. Truly sublime music."
"A startling and deep record of organic sound collage."
"Précis is an excellent tool in the daily battle against the mortal enemy of stress...akin to a reflective walk through a first growth forest."
"Pioulard combines the creativity and abstract nature of noise, tape loops, and fuzz with the practicality and timelessness of simple folk and rock progressions. A truly beautiful record."
"En terme d’alchimie entre folk-songs nostalgiques brûlées et artisanat des textures sonores, cet album est précisément une réussite.
"Les sons sont cristallins et rappellent un retour à la nature. Tout semble pur et en totale harmonie, tout se combine parfaitement. Rien de ce que vous avez entendu cette année n'y ressemble, Benoît Pioulard a su créer son propre son."
"Disque d’une maturité étonnante."
"Beautifully deep from start to finish...Delicate guitar, soundscapes washed in reverb and analog warmth all come together with softly distant vocals that take you away somewhere comforting."
"[Précis] is a completed puzzle one is tempted to pick apart and admire the craftsmanship of each piece...Each can be put back in any order and still magically lock together into a new, unexpected whole."
"La calda voce e le corde della sua chitarra acustica sono sempre in primo piano ma appena dietro nel mixer è un pullulare di carillon, campanellini e strati di elettricità post-shoegaze che incanta."
"Un album à l'écoute agréable dont se dégagent quelques moments remarquables."
"[Pioulard] parvient à créer un univers tout à fait intéressant et particulièrement personnel...un artiste assurément prometteur."
"A gorgeous slice of ambient, experimental pop, falling somewhere, and everywhere, among the delicate artiness of Joseph Arthur, the tender melodies of the Clientele and the haunting soundscapes of Flying Saucer Attack...rating: A."
"Impressively catchy...A pleasant surprise with an inherently infectious quality that will keep you coming back."
"You can forget about cataloguing the different instruments, let alone understanding the lyrics. Fortunately, you don’t need any of that to know the wistful sadness it exhales. It feels like autumn."
"Précis is full of surreal folk, with plenty of textures in odd places...the winning moments have us keeping tabs on [Benoît]."
"Surprisingly melodic folk pop that floats in delicate and fragile waters but which occasionally also veers off into more experimental terrain...[Précis] is a grower that will get a lot of stereo time this fall when I realize how much I actually miss the summer."