For over ten years, Frenchman Jean-Baptiste e Laubier aka Para One has been crafting eccentric melodies, first–like many–finding inspiration in the world of hip-hop as a beatmaker before stumbling upon the sweeping intricacies of dance music. And although the artist’s latest offering Passion may be his 3rd album to date, it’s undoubtedly his most complete–taking account nearly every musical influence the 33-year-old has experienced thus far in his life and fusing them into one of the most solid pieces of work 2012 has had to offer so far.
Call it house, call it futuristic r&b, call it soul hip-hop –whatever the fuck it is, it’s damn sure intelligent. SImply put, I don’t think there’s been an artist in this day and age that’s dared to combine the varying soundscapes Para One has on Passion. Each song is inherently different from the next, both in direction and sound. From the 90′s hip-hop influences on “The Empire” and the “Poisoned Apples” interlude, to the uptempo funk tendencies of “When The Night” and “Sigmund”, to the modern R&B takes of “Every Little Thing” and “Lean On Me”, it’s hard to describe what it is that ties them all together, but there’s definitely something there. At the very least, this unique contrast keeps things sonically interesting–an ecstasy-fueled roller coaster ride packed with peaks and come-down points, vigor and restraint.