Room 29

Room 29

by Chilly Gonzales


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Room 29

Los Angeles' Chateau Marmont exists on the precipice of magic and kitsch, a place where mythology and tragedy intertwine so neither is discernable from the other. In other words, it's an ideal tableau for Jarvis Cocker, the former Pulp frontman who has always been drawn to the intersection between high and low culture. A collaboration with Chilly Gonzalez, an electro musician with strong roots in classic pop, Room 29 is intimate cabaret -- the kind of album that could be performed at a dinner theater, where the pianist runs the length of his keyboard as the vocalist murmurs poetry. Apart from an interlude where woodwinds gently breeze into view, a wave of vibraphones, and songs where strings are so subtle they're merely felt, Room 29 retains this sense of intimacy, a combination that can almost read as camp but Cocker and Gonzalez aren't quite so gauche. Clever men that they are, they know that the form they've chosen can be read as cheesy but they wink at their audience, then choose to take the whole enterprise seriously: although they may elicit a wry smile, these tales of Hollywood glory and tragedy aren't played for laughs; they're serious business. Sometimes, Room 29 can be a bit arch -- Gonzalez's piano runs can be a bit florid and Cocker's lyrics can veer toward the purple -- but an ode to the decadence of West Hollywood shouldn't be restrained, even when it's austere. Room 29 impresses because it's simultaneously intimate and theatrical, a record that seems designed to be a whisper shared amidst a packed room. Perhaps the individual songs seem ephemeral when isolated on their own, but that's because Room 29 is constructed as a tone poem, a collection of songs, poetry, and incidental music that's designed to be a hyper-reality -- an intersection of the glamorous past of Hollywood and our arch modern sensibility, and it succeeds gloriously at that.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/17/2017
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947970101
catalogNumber: 002636502
Rank: 105690

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chilly Gonzales   Primary Artist,Piano
Jarvis Cocker   Vocals
Oleg Kondratenko   Conductor
FAME Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Nathalie Hauptmann   Flute
Kaiser Quartett   String Quartet
Maud Techa   Vocals
Hasko Kroeger   French Horn

Technical Credits

Gato Barbieri   Writer
Jarvis Cocker   Lyricist,Producer,Liner Notes
Ryuichi Sakamoto   Additional Music
Peter Saville   Art Direction
Renaud Letang   Producer,Engineer
David Thomson   Liner Notes
Thomas Moulin   Engineer
Chilly Gonzales   Composer,Producer
Giorgi Hristovski   Engineer
Riste Trajkovski   Stage Manager
Ingmar Süberkrüb   Arranger
Atanas Babaleski   Pro-Tools
Igor Vasilev   Stage Manager

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