By Andrew Horan
Already a bona fide superstar in her home province of Quebec and in France, the third release from Coeur de Pirate, aka Beatrice Martin, will doubtlessly see the Montreal singer make serious inroads with English-speaking audiences.
Seven of the album’s 11 tracks are in English and whether she’s singing in French or English, Martin’s strong voice is at the forefront. She’s also embraced a contemporary indie pop sound, though a few of the tracks do find her returning to the retro chanteuse style of her previous outings, particularly on ‘Our Love’, a song that was doubtlessly inspired by her marriage to Quebec tattoo artist Alex Peyrat as well as the birth of her daughter Romy.
Roses is full of radio-friendly pop songs. ‘I Don’t Want to Break Your Heart’, featuring rapper Allan Kingdom, has great potential for crossover success, while ‘Undone’ is tailor-made for modern rock radio.
But it’s the album’s lead-off, ‘Carry On’ that sets the stage for Roses. It’s a shimmering piece of masterful pop with a minimal intro with the underlying tension bursting forth during the soaring chorus. A French version of the track, ‘Oublie-Moi’, closes out the album. The trio of producers who worked on the album also help to keep the sounds varied but at the same time, it all sounds like it belongs together thanks to Martin’s unique vocals. Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John, Rob Ellis and Ash Workman all lent their talents to Roses.
For any long-time fans who miss Coeur de Pirate’s classic piano sound, the second last song, ‘The Way Back Home’, harkens back to Martin’s older material, as does the minimal ‘Oceans Brawl’.
Roses is a strong collection of songs that finds Martin moving forward with her sound while keeping one foot planted firmly in the past. This album will doubtlessly please fans of Coeur de Pirate and win her more than a few new ones.