Today Tchami unveiled his newest project, the 5-track EP Revelations. The record, which is out now on his own Confession imprint, is the Parisian producer's first EP since his wildly successful After Life from December 2015, which was instrumental in the global explosion of future house. After listening thoroughly, I had a 'revelation' of my own - Tchami misses his mark.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/347755326" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
Let me preface my review with this: I am a staunch fan and follower of Confession. I wholeheartedly believe it's one of the true tastemakers in dance music at the moment, and I will continue to support it fervently. However, after reading a recent article on Wall Street Journal titled "What Happened to the Negative Music Review?" that details the decline of unfavorable coverage in music and film, I felt it necessary to point out some glaring missteps present in Revelations, an EP from a pioneering producer that is devoid of ingenuity.
Revelations kicks off with "World to Me," a tropical-tinged downtempo house track that sorely misses the aching touch of MNEK, whose vocals were inexplicably replaced by a vanilla Luke James. This one had loads of potential, but it's difficult to get excited having heard the original version, which MNEK made his own with an awe-inspiring vocal effort. Next on the EP is "Godspell," a track that, at first glance, made my eyes light up due to the presence of house music prodigy Taiki Nulight. Unfortunately, "Godspell" cannot be saved by its innovative drop due to the ill-advised use of a hackneyed sample (Human Resource's 1991 Dutch club staple "Dominator"), which was recently regurgitated and subsequently rinsed by Armin van Buuren, among many others.
Moving along, we arrive at the third song of Revelations, "Dont Let Me Down." Even using the same title as one of their most infamous hits, "Don't Let Me Down" takes a page right out of the The Chainsmokers' book by featuring an (admittedly) infectious chord progression before misfiring on the drop. Given the bass-driven, experimental nature of the preceding drop in "Godspell," this one sounds too similar and is rendered superfluous. He would've been better off using a chord-driven drop like the one he dazzled critics with in "After Life (feat. Stacy Barthe)." Tchami thankfully goes that route with the ensuing track "Zeal," which is a playful house number that moonlights as a darkhorse for the EP's best.
Perhaps the only redeeming quality of Revelations is its inclusion of "Adieu," the beautiful progressive tune Tchami released as a single in February 2017. He then closes it all out with "Adieu, Pt. II," a stripped down version which, while supplementing the original nicely, serves as a tepid final puzzle piece to a lackluster record.
Despite everything I just wrote, I urge you to check out the EP above and draw your own conclusions. You can also peruse the Confessions catalog below, which holds home to some of the most forward-thinking house music on the market.