Riviera e.p. (Club Grand)
The cover to Baby Grand’s new five-track e.p. is an unambiguous invitation: take a leisurely drive back in time in a 60’s Sunbeam Tiger convertible along sunny shores and sparkling seas of the Italian and French Riviera, an unhurried cruise to retro lounge nirvana. Baby Grand’s follow-up to the debut album And Dream Of (2018) is another clever slice of easy-listening exotica, bossa nova and Euro bachelor pad vibes from production wiz and multi-instrumentalist Barry Thompson, with a little help from his friends. These are richly-layered downtempo tunes laden with hooks carried by brass, strings and piano. The piano tinkles like ice in your cocktail and the brass choruses are full-blooded. And the strings? Oh, what gorgeous strings they are, sumptuous enough to make Mantovani blush yet somehow without the old maestro’s wince-inducing cheesiness. Whether you take Baby Grand’s exotic lounge as kitsch, sly pastiche or something else altogether, Riviera serves you an endless summer in a tall, cool glass.
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