Unearthed: Para One- Passion
Posted in Unearthed
Para One Finds His "Passion"
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.
Perhaps what's most impressive about Passion, though, is the work that was put into it. "What I really like to do is mix really old stuff, really analog tones with a very digital sound of today," stated Para One in a recent interview. "Having a bit of both, so that they don't conflict at all in the end but work together." This peculiar distinction becomes overly apparent on Passion, as songs come off with more than just a face value appeal, and listening closely you can really feel those deep-seated contradictions. It gives the whole record a sincerely timeless finish--songs that will likely still mean something to someone decades from now.
Below, indulge in a few of our favorites from the record, but as all great albums encompass, the songs work better together than separate. To truly understand what Para One is trying to get across with Passion, you need to experience it all. There are an abundance of underlying tropes here about love, turmoil, and triumph that one can't simply grab ahold of with one or two songs. To really get it, to really feel it, again, it takes it all. I strongly suggest buying this album, wallowing in whatever vice it is that gets your musical senses tingling most, and finding your own Passion.