Tristan Clopet dove into the vast pool of independently recording singer-songwriters earlier this year with his debut LP Name It What You Want It. However, before I say anything about the record, I owe the guy I huge thank you. He mailed up not only a copy of his CD but also a pretty sweet custom t-shirt only to wait patiently while his CD racked up the plays in my stereo. Thank you Tristan, you're a gentleman.
There is a lot to talk about here, but I'll start with undeniably the strongest aspect of Clopet's music: his voice.It's been a long time since I've heard such incredible vocals. Clopet's voice rumbles over the piano's lower octaves in A Chat with My Brain, it gently pulls you through the slower ballad Idiosyncrasies of the Resolute, and it absolutely soars in Hold on Lover, Hold on Girl. The vocals on Name It What You Want It are near flawless. Clopet helps himself out; his well-written songs really help him show off his full range. Although harmonies make only a cameo appearance in the album, you can't find a much sweeter hook than in Summer in Sussex, the dynamic first track. Songwriting is very strong aspect of this album. Simply put, Clopet is a fantastic songwriter. Clopet's genre-bending songs are all absurdly catchy. Small hooks grab you at every turn leaving absolutely nothing feeling boring.
Clopet drives his music forward with a wide variety of percussion, and this leads to the only real problem I can find with Name It What You Want It. Especially on the closing tracks An Introduction… To Forward Thinking and Fife and Drum, Clopet leans on his drums just a bit too much to pull you through the song. Clopet obviously experimented the most with the last few songs and they still feel a little bit raw. Although unfinished, they are certainly not throw outs.
Regardless of the highs and lows of this album, Clopet has one ace that is unavoidable. This guy has great style. Not only are his songs well-written, well-sung, and well-orchestrated, they radiate cool vibrations. We can almost hear him crack a smile as he hits that perfect funky chord. For such a young artist, Clopet's intuitive sense of flair is impeccable. Clopet's verve adds an entirely new level to his work, one that allows you to keep coming back more and more.
Crafty songs, beautiful lyrics, and a great dose of panache characterize Tristan Clopet's debut LP Name It What You Want It. He is, without a doubt, one of the most promising young artists I have heard in a while. Well done, Mr. Clopet.