Hubert Lenoir - PICTURA DE IPSE: Musique directe Music Album Reviews

Hubert Lenoir - PICTURA DE IPSE: Musique directe Music Album Reviews
On his second album, the Québécois pop provocateur scales down the lavish glam rock of his debut for funky experiments with inconsistent results.

Hubert Lenoir’s career was kickstarted in the moment when he flashed his butt to reveal a fleur-de-lis tattoo. As a guest performer on La Voix (Quebec’s answer to The Voice), the impish provocateur in eyeshadow and lipstick earned controversy from the program’s conservative viewers. This backlash combined with his charismatic talent rapidly reversed into a meteoric rise in Lenoir’s home province and even rarer success beyond, resulting in a Polaris Prize shortlist nomination, international infamy, and a spot opening for The Strokes at the Barclays Center on New Year’s Eve 2019. Responding to the surreality of the past three years of his life, Lenoir’s sophomore album scales down the lavish glam rock and conceptual lyrics of his debut for a strangely funky new sound with himself in the lead role.

The concept behind PICTURA DE IPSE (Picture of Myself): Musique Directe is compelling. Beginning in the late 1950s, Québécois filmmakers such as Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault developed a style of observational documentaries known as cinéma direct. Inspired by its intimacy, Lenoir used an iPhone to capture conversations and field recordings of sounds from his day-to-day life, weaving these samples throughout the album to create his own form of Musique Directe. As its 20 songs bleed together, the overall effect is like listening to a nearly hour-long audio montage with spoken word fragments illuminating the 25-year-old artist’s inner thoughts. The brief “418 wOo” sets a tone with its frenetic Thundercat-style breakbeat before Lenoir admits that the bullying he experienced in his childhood has since become a source of motivation.

The French Canadian rabble-rouser opens up just as readily in his lyrics. Over a patiently unfolding musical backdrop, “HULA HOOP” shares how his busy schedule stopped him from properly grieving the death of his dog Brownie: “I want to take the time to heal/But it’s already time to go again.” On the laid-back groove of “OCTEMBRE,” a duet with Bonnie Banane, Lenoir describes how kids at school used to mock him as “Hubert Pippi Longstocking.” With a voice pitched up like Quasimoto, “MTL STYLE LIBRE” reveals his bisexual insecurities at their base level: “How many girls do I have to fuck for my friends to admire me? How many dicks do I have to suck to be queer enough?”

“DIMANCHE SOIR,” produced by hip-hop beatmaker High Klassified, continues the humblebrags as Lenoir says he forgot to deposit “$50,000 in cheques,” then states that “even though I’m not straight, I’m still a straight shooter.” His sexuality rises to the forefront on “BOI,” a queer love song with G-funk synths and a squawking falsetto like Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes. Yet “SECRET,” featuring frequent collaborator Kirin J. Callinan on guitar and Mac DeMarco on drums, is the album’s most moving confessional. In its video, Lenoir takes on the character of a skunk trying to connect with a popular boy in his high school. Propelled by chiming 808s, billowing sax, and squelching synths straight out of Orange Juice’s “Rip It Up,” Lenoir admits he’s been struggling in therapy, offering his “condolences to everyone that is like me.”

Some of the album’s more immediate melodies are buried deep in its back half, like the English-language chorus of “GOLDEN DAYS” or the way “SUCRE + SEL” is oddly reminiscent of “Lady Marmalade.” After the previous 19 songs, “f.p.b.” brings the record to a tender conclusion as Lenoir sings while strumming the guitar with the soft touch of a lullaby. In the past, he has openly shared his idolization of Kanye West. The way both artists operate without creative filters is admirable, but they could also benefit from a bit more quality control. PICTURA DE IPSE is a fascinating project, but it suffers from being overstuffed, undercooked, and inconsistent in comparison to the bombastic pop of his debut. Thankfully, Lenoir has no shortage of ideas, and even his half-baked experiments are devilishly fun.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Hubert Lenoir - PICTURA DE IPSE: Musique directe Music Album Reviews Hubert Lenoir - PICTURA DE IPSE: Musique directe Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 27, 2021 Rating: 5


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