The "Room 29" album has a sweeping melancholy . . . stark, intimate duets . . .
. . . a unique hybrid of pop gig, stage theatre and university lecture . . . The songs penned by Gonzales are mostly elegant things: "Tearjerker" has a plaintive piano line . . . while "Ice Cream as Main Course" boasts the night's standout melody . . . ["Room 29" is] a fascinating place to visit.
. . . a decidedly thrilling 16-track song cycle . . . From the baby-grand designs of "Tearjerker" to the quizzical drama of the title track to the deceptive confection of "Ice Cream as Main Course," "Room 29" is a place you can check out any time you like, but may never be able to leave . . . One thing's for sure: Whatever does wind up happening there will have a great soundtrack accompanying it.
This collaboration between the Pulp legend and piano man Gonzales is as pretty as it is witty.
An atmospheric song-cycle . . . Jarvis has always been one for a "bon mot" or two and "Room 29" has clearly spurred his infamous wit . . . The musical accompaniment is largely provided by Chilly Gonzales' sparse and understated piano with occasional tasteful strings courtesy of the Kaiser Quartet. Downbeat and mournful, it perfectly fits the atmosphere of faded decadence that colours Jarvis' tales . . . After all, it is full of stories of bad behaviour and insanity with a dash of voyeurism -- which all sounds like a cracking night out by any measure.
This is a beguiling curiosity, combining delicate piano pieces with the fragile vocals and erudite lyrics of Britpop's greatest wit . . . you get drawn into a world of dusty dreams and thwarted longings . . . [Cocker's] gift for songwriting remains as sharp as ever . . . [Gonzales's] melodies and harmonies are gorgeous, their instrumental passages trembling with emotion . . . A chamber piece that spills blood all over the hotel carpet, "Room 29" is an understated triumph.
Over sparse instrumentation, the seedy, melancholic subject matter fits Cocker perfectly.
. . . [a] beautifully bittersweet song cycle . . . [Cocker]: It's wonderful to have this most self-aware of thigh-rubbers back. He's in the excellent company of piano man Chilly Gonzales . . .
The Pulp frontman shows he's still got what it takes.
. . . a decidedly thrilling 16-track song cycle . . . From the baby-grand designs of "Tearjerker" to the quizzical drama of the title track to the deceptive confection of "Ice Cream as Main Course", "Room 29" is a place you can check out any time you like, but may never be able to leave . . . One thing's for sure: Whatever does wind up happening there will have a great soundtrack accompanying it.
. . . Cocker's knack for pinpointing nihilism's abiding allure finds a match in Chilly Gonzales's eerily elegant piano. While it's easy to condemn or romanticise the Chateau, the duo mostly offer a nuanced portrait of its murky morals . . . "Bombshell's" nervous energy and the frenzied "A Trick of the Light" brilliantly expose the torment of falling for an illusion.
. . . a meditation on the relationship between hotel and guest . . . But as much as this is supposed to be an experimental and theatrical tour of "Room 29", both Cocker and Gonzales have way too much pop-song mastery for this to be just a fussy one-time stay. Cocker brings his wry Pulp persona to bear on Gonzales' elegant piano and film-score approach and deep pop tune understanding. A few tracks are infectious enough to merit standalone listens.
. . . [this collaboration from Gonzales and Cocker] might seem out of place, but it makes perfect sense upon hearing "Room 29" . . . [the intriguing song-cycle] veers from tear-stained ballads ("Tearjerker") to noir-coloured cabaret ("Belle Boy") to evocative tales . . . [the voice of film historian David Thomson] lends the record a cinematic grandeur worthy of its subject.
Overflowing with a sad, lonely-sounding ambiance, it's the sort of album to stay up late with, smoke, and drink . . . This is an elaborate, highly-thematic work . . . a fascinating excursion . . . and a must-listen for any devotees of Hollywood's Golden Age.
. . . unapologetically strange . . . charming and eccentric . . . Gonzales tinkles pleasantly on the piano . . .
. . . this concept album is a resounding success. Coupling Gonzales's talent for a melody and Cocker's flair as a lyricist and as a singer, it channels the ghosts and stories of past residents of the hotel with gusto . . . "Trick of the Light" is the album's masterpiece, finishing with a beautiful orchestral passage . . .
With Gonzales' delicate fin de siècle piano arrangements backed by a string quartet, the result is pitched somewhere between an operetta, a Schubertian song-cycle, a documentary and one of those impressionistic sound collages in the vein of Cocker's "Wireless Nights" shows on Radio 4 . . . ["Clara" is an inspired] beautifully tragic music hall song . . . ["Tearjerker"] is heartbreakingly pretty . . . ["Salome"] is lush, expansive and hopelessly romantic, with heart-tugging major sevenths and lush strings . . . ["Trick of the Light"] is a delicious sonic trick in an album filled with similarly delicious moments.
. . . ["Room 29" is an understated album that squeezes] into intimate spaces, inverting the work that concept albums used to do . . . Cocker reminds us that he's one of rock's great baritone truth-divers . . . he knows how to laugh at the horrors of the world with a grace that remains beyond the reach of rock's other leading doomsayers.
Cocker's wordplay is deliciously snarky, complemented by Gonzales's mood music and atmospheric detailing . . . Forget your reservations: late check-out is advised.
. . . [the biggest surprise, "Room 29"] works very well! Gonzales is a phenomenal pianist, Cocker an engaging balladeer and the album bears a third and fourth listening.
Sur "Tearjerker", on retrouve la voix si particulière et sensuelle de Jarvis, en tandem avec le piano de Gonzales, dans une balade très douce. Le second morceau est lui instrumental et s'étoffe de mélancoliques cordes.
. . . superbe . . . On se laisse porter par les mélodies sépia d'une musique mélancolique pleine de nostalgie, essentiellement jouée au piano, et par ces histoires hors du temps qui mêlent fiction totale, mythologie du 7e Art et poésie pure.
Voici une alliance que nous n'aurions jamais soupconnée: celle d'un chanteur et parolier extraordinaire . . . [et d'un pianiste inventif] et compositeur raffiné . . . ["Room 29" c'est une] disque particulier . . . Très calme, il s'articule autour des accords de piano de Gonzales, sur lesquels Cocker pose ses textes si bien écrits . . . Il s'agit d'un album assez naturel, sans artifices, sur lequel les deux protagonistes dévoilent leur personnalité et leur sensibilité avec beaucoup de style.
. . . un album attachant . . . touchant.