Album Review: Jonathan Boulet - We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart

10 July 2012 | 1:19 pm | Cam Findlay

Don’t expect anything fundamentally new from this record. It’s still all variations on the one theme.

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We Keep The Beat… may be one of the most anticipated Australian albums of the year so far. Boulet, while not necessarily constantly in the limelight, has been tinkering away at this, his second album, for a while now, with various releases here and there keeping interest up. It ends up being what you expect from Boulet, his technical interest flowing over from his slot as drummer for Parades and the forceful passion of his previous work breathing life into what could've been a much more formulaic set of songs.

At the core, not too much has changed since 2009's self-titled debut. We Keep The Beat… still has those intrinsic Boulet-ish elements: full-frontal, heavy rhythms; atmospheric, shouted choruses; and Boulet's visceral and sometimes abstract lyricism. There is a variety of melody on We Keep The Beat…; opener You're An Animal is a great big joyous explosion of battered drums and growing guitar chords, with Mangle Trang and Piao Voca Slung instead building intricately canorous sounds; Boneyard Home is close to sounding like a Super Mario theme track with its unobtrusive but repetitive high-end hook.

That said, don't expect anything fundamentally new from this record. It's still all variations on the one theme – Boulet has more than enough stated his love for those big, syncopated beats and choral vocals. It's the bread and butter of his music, with Parades also at least slightly influenced by his style. Unfortunately, that hems in We Keep The Beat… While it is somewhat unique to Boulet, some more variance would allow him to expand beyond the simple pop pieces we know him for.