An ensemble of violin-like synths and open, dignified piano form the basis of 'Galdhöppigen Glittertind'. The angelic voice
give this track a solemn, elysian nature.
, it appeared on the Presage sampler 'Unreleased III' in 1990. 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' relies on grave chello, melancholic flute, repetitive piano tinkles and above all the dreamy counterplay between the voices of Sandy and
The waltzing 'Nothing to Say, Nothing to Answer' radiates a grey atmosphere because of the nebulous guitars and almost tuneless keyboards. With the beautiful rendition of Serge Gainsbourg
's 'La Ballade de Melodie Nelson' they hit the mark. Covers rarely better the original, this is an example of the opposite.
The heartfelt message of 'Children Die in Silence' is followed by the frivolous tunes of 'Candletown'. The playful flutes and joyous percussion provide this song with a swinging nature. The introvert 'Cube-Like-People' from 1992's album 'Noisy But Empty' is attractive in all its simplicity. A cappella singing, subtile piano, elementary strings and a timpani ruffle is all one needs. 'Cube Like People' was also the name of the band that rose from the ashes of Rise and Fall of a Decade
. Under that moniker they took their music into the new millenium.
'Humankind' is performed in conjunction with Trees Dance
. This Parisian romantic pop band proves to be an excellent companion in regard of the tender style of Rise and Fall of a Decade
'Pure Hands' appeared on the Hyperium Heavenly Voices series. And for a good reason since it is seraphic indeed. 'Escape' is a track that gives you shivers, Sandy is in excellent form here. 'Mistake' is another showcase for her vocal talents, it was released as a single in 1995. That single also contained a cover of 'I Bleed' by The Pixies
. They mold and shape that composition into something of their own. On 'First' it is just Pierre Francois
and an acoustic guitar. A nice way to affirm his singer-songwriter abilities.
The swirling, vehement and distorted guitars of 'You or Sidney' form a dense, intricate sonic pattern. The restless percussion adds to the energetic character of this track. The lush and majestic 'Free as in Utero' is a dreamy winner, the despondent guitars play a vital role. 'The French Song is Dead' is another highlight, something mournful can also sound melodious and rhythmical. As one listens to 'Don't Save the Museum' the tragic death of Pierre Francois Maurin-Malet
comes to mind again. This track was planned for a new Rise and Fall of a Decade
album that might never see the light of day. It shows how full of ideas the band still was, even after two decades. The coldwave tunes of the instrumental 'Theme Kurland' close this fine compilation.
For longtime fans the inclusion of some hard to find tracks is a welcome asset, and for neophytes it is a very handy way to get conversant with the fertile career of Rise and Fall of a Decade