Imagined by frontman Jason Swinscoe as the soundtrack to a movie which has yet to be made, Ma Fleur does have a grand and sweeping feel to it. It sounds especially pretty on a rainy afternoon, but I found it far too solemn to be tried on a sunny car trip. While this is a band made up of gentlemen, it is the female guest vocals that shine on this album. Seventy-seven year old soul singer Fontella Bass brings light and warmth to two tracks, "Familiar Ground" and "Breathe." My favorite track, "Time and Space," provides a lush background for Lou Rhodes’ heartfelt vocals, which are sweetly reminiscent of Marianne Faithfull. Patrick Watson, on the other hand, bears a vocal resemblance to Coldplay’s Chris Martin, which to me, is the extremely icky aural equivalent of stepping on a bug with bare feet.
In the nature of a soundtrack, this album seems meant as a backdrop for other scenes to unfold upon, which makes it lovely background music for conversation or meditation. Good for shoegazers and Coldplay fans, but also fine for those who prefer the slower songs on Moby’s Play, I have to thank this album for introducing me to Miss Rhodes, whose solo album I will now be procuring.