Album Review: ‘Adventure’ by Madeon

After releasing occasional, one-off singles, French DJ Madeon (real name Hugo Leclercq) has now released his eagerly anticipated debut album, Adventure.

Madeon’s debut album Adventure is the perfect balance of old and new electronica. Source: Wikipedia.

Over numerous releases, fans have been introduced to Leclercq’s unique style of electronic house. From the dramatic anthem of Finale to the upbeat pop of tracks like The CityMadeon’s talents as a producer and DJ has always been exceptionally diverse. With Adventure, he only develops this further, as well as bringing back the style apparent on his previous releases.

The album begins with Isometric – an atmospheric and colourful introduction to the album. Despite initially starting with calm and mellow melodies, the track develops an active and powerful drum beat that leads the way to the next track, You’re On.

This is the first track on the album to feature supporting vocals. For this track, Kyan provides the vocal talent to a vibrant and upbeat pop homage. It is this rather euphoric and bubbly style that fans of Madeon will recognise from tracks such as The City. This then continues with the groovy electronic funk of Ok. The chopped-up vocals and bouncy rhythm is almost identical to the style of Cut the Kid. In this track, Boom Clap singer Charlie XCX provides the vocal undertones that Madeon then distorts in the track. Although her vocals are not easily recognisable, it’s Leclercq’s respect of the vocal talents when adding electronic effects that makes him an incredible producer.

This respect continues with Dan Smith (from the UK rock band Bastille)’s contribution on the smooth and laid-back La Lune. The strong drum beat and Dan’s vocals are reminiscent of his work with Bastille. However, Madeon’s style of electronica in this track feels disjointed in terms of it following the upbeat Ok on the track list. If the track was placed near the end, the album would have had a cinematic ending that is worthy of such a talented producer and excellent debut album.

However, whilst La Lune was one of my least favourite tracks from the album, Pay No Mind – the following track – is undeniably my favourite song from Adventure.  Starting with upbeat guitar riffs, the song develops into a happy and colourful track on the album. Alongside emotive vocals from Passion Pit, the chorus is catchy and euphoric, making the track instantly memorable. As well as that, a funky musical interlude towards the end by Madeon pays tribute to one of his inspirations – Daft Punk.

This cinematic atmosphere created by Hugo continues in Beings, with an opening melody that is similar to that of Technicolor. As well as this, the track sees the first vocal contribution by Madeon. Although heavily distorted, Leclercq’s talents as a vocalist add another impressive string to the producer’s bow. We also see Madeon’s vocals in the upbeat Zephyr and the atmospheric conclusion to the album, HomeWhilst his exploration into including his own voice in his songs is to be commended, I couldn’t help but think that his vocals shouldn’t have been edited, and that they should have been similar to Kyan’s vocals on You’re On, and Passion Pit’s contribution to Pay No Mind.

But despite most of the tracks having vocals, Madeon is also keen to include tracks which allow him to explore his talents with electronica. With a slow tempo and long build-upPixel Empire is cleverly placed near the end of the album to bring it to a cinematic finish. However, that is not to say that the track doesn’t include the traditional vibrant and jumpy style of Madeon.

Another exploration by Madeon that is apparent in Adventure is his attempt at creating a grungy and borderline dubstep track. With Imperium, Hugo makes a successful leap at the new genre, creating a cinematic anthem and thus opening new doors for the producer to explore.

As well as this, not all of the tracks in Adventure follow the same tempo. In particular, Mark Foster (Foster the People) contributes Nonsense – a track with a rather fast-paced bridge and diverse rhythm. The track’s musical interlude by Madeon also shows his ability to understand the style of each track and mimic it in his melodies.

Lastly, towards the end of AdventureMadeon switches from the euphoria of the first part of the album, to more mellow and atmospheric songs for the album’s conclusionInnocence (featuring vocals from Aquilo) is not as loud as other tracks and has a more laid-back, relaxed feel. This then continues with the final song, Home, which brings Madeon’s excellent debut album to a close.

Rating: 5 out 5


Weekly Update: March as the Month of Completion

As March starts to draw to a close, everything starts to get sorted. Weirdly, March 31st seems to be the one date where all the competitions close. But, in particular, March was the month where all of my academic coursework was completely finished (or nearing completion). At long last, I have reached the point in the year where all that is left is the final exams in May.

At that point, it’s easier. Now, I don’t mean easy in terms of revision – that takes a lot of hard work, discipline and so forth. But knowing that there is one thing to focus on, with nothing else getting involved, is when I work best. So now it’s full steam ahead to the next mission: May exams.

What tasks have you completed lately, and what are you working on next? Comment below!


Normal Service Resumes! | The Friday Article

Lifestyle blogger Liam O’Dell has revealed that normal service shall resume on his blog, The Life of a Thinker, after YouTube videos failed to embed in his ‘Musical Discovery’ posts.

The aspiring journalist consulted with WordPress Support recently after he spotted the issue, and has since found a temporary solution to the problem – writing the review before finally pasting the YouTube link.

“It’s all become very technical,” Liam admitted. “But I’m learning and thankfully the issue has now been resolved.”

Liam also agreed that there was a large amount of Musical Discovery posts over the last few weeks in order to allow him to experiment with different ways of solving the problem.

“I’m going to be pushing ‘Musical Discovery’ posts back to just Monday’s now, I don’t want my blog to become focussed on just one topic.”

The blogger also writes about writing as well as general life updates, and it is expected that Liam will post more on these topics to make up for the increase in Musical Discovery posts recently.


Musical Discovery: ‘Nonsense’ by Madeon feat. Mark Foster

In a surprise release yesterday morning, French DJ Madeon (Hugo Leclercq) revealed the latest track from his debut album Adventure.

Already Adventure boasts vocals from Kyan and Passion Pit (with a track featuring Dan Smith from Bastille yet to be released), but now, the new track, entitled Nonsense, sees Mark Foster from Foster the People lend his vocal talents.

When compared to previous releases, it is clear that each track is creative and allows Madeon to explore his talent. From the grunge style of Imperium to the upbeat pop of You’re On – no track is the same. In this instance, Nonsense has a different structure to Madeon’s other tracks.

Unlike the cinematic choruses of Pay No Mind and You’re On where Madeon displays his creative talent, this time the DJ leaves the chorus to Mark Foster – allowing him to create a chorus that showcases his soulful vocals.

Instead, Madeon adds slight electronic vibes to the song’s verses, as well as a brief musical interlude before the song finishes, of course.

As more tracks from Madeon’s debut album are released, it is fair to say that Adventure will be a hit album when it is released on 30th March.


Musical Discovery: ‘Cut the Kid’ by Madeon

French electro-house DJ Madeon (real name Hugo Leclercq) is set to release his debut album Adventure at the end of March. In anticipation for the release, today’s Musical Discovery post is a review of Cut the Kid – which I never reviewed when it was originally released.

In the video’s description on YouTube, Leclercq describes the song as “a happy groovy production jam”. With bursts of vibrant funk and creative melodies, Madeon’s description of this track is spot on.

Throughout the song, Madeon includes funky guitar riffs, off-beat synth distortions, and dramatic build-ups to a catchy chorus. Even the song’s beginning has a colourful, galactic feel to it.

Upon listening to the track for the first time, I was put off by the high-pitched synth notes in the song’s chorus, but after listening to the song again, it’s grown on me. I’ve since realised that the unique synth melody is what makes this release to his other tracks.

Madeon has already released this song for a free download, but the track is also available to purchase as part of the deluxe edition of Adventure.

What do you think of this track? Comment below!


Weekly Update: Normal Service Shall Resume Shortly…

I’ve always used the WordPress mobile app to manage my blog. The ability to upload on the go has always been useful.

Over time, the app has had some great updates. In particular, the post editor has become easier to use. However, at one point, I have been unable to embed YouTube links on my blog since.

As followers of The Life of a Thinker will know, I use embedded YouTube videos in my Musical Discovery music reviews. Now, only the link of the video appears when the post is published.

At the moment, I’m working with the kind Happiness Engineers and WordPress staff to find a solution. In the meantime, this is just a post to apologise for any issues that may happen in any upcoming Musical Discovery posts – if there are any, please let me know!

In other news, the latest update to the WordPress Stats is really useful! The ability to get in depth statistics as well as views each year is very interesting.

If you use the WordPress mobile app, what do you think of the latest update? Comment below!


The Friday Article: Liam Witnesses the Solar Eclipse

Lifestyle blogger Liam O’Dell was, amongst many others, able to witness the partial solar eclipse.

Earlier this morning, Liam noticed the start of the solar eclipse, as the moon started to cover the Sun. The blogger was able to safely take photos of the eclipse throughout the process.

After speaking to the aspiring journalist, he admits that astronomy has always been a fascinating to him.

“I was never really good at biology or chemistry.” said Liam. “But astronomy has always fascinated me because it’s something to be marvelled. It can be so complex.”

After the eclipse, Liam was glad to be able to witness such an extraordinary astrological event.