The Other Side Review
Romain Swan is a pop/rock singer from Paris France. He found his love for music at the tender age of 14. It started out as writing simple texts that he would then add the accompaniment for himself. The composer, singer, songwriter, author, and guitarist has a creatively unique sound. After exploring multiple different genres Swan decided to create his own. Some of his songs have a folk flair, meanwhile, others are more pop sounding. While Romain doesn’t classify his music as one specific genre, his pop/rock allows him to expand and grow in the future.
The overall tone of All These Things is a strong rock presence with overtones of pop. There are some songs on the album where the electric guitar seems to be the dominant instrument, while in others it’s more subtle, either way, it’s a key element.
In the more uprooted rock songs such as ‘Nothing’s Gonna Say’, there are short riffs that form a distinguished rhythm pattern. ‘Quoi Qu’il Arrive’, I would say, is the hardest song on the album in terms of rock heaviness. It has super short riffs of the same few chords throughout the whole song and reminds me of alternative rock music more than pop. In ‘Give Me Back the Sun’, the guitars use is more subtle and used as an undertone.
There isn’t a set label for each song. Some songs are slow and folksy while others are more rock-based; there are also songs that are both folk and rock. ‘We’ll Be Again’ is the perfect example. The beginning of the song starts off slow, then picks up into a mix of folk and rock, both elements being easily distinguishable.
I thought the album wasn’t bad. I had trouble understanding some of the lyrics because Romain goes back and forth between English and French. My level of fluency in the language is pretty close to non-existent so I wasn’t able to understand what was being sung. Even though I struggled to understand, I did enjoy Swan’s voice. It’s deep and smooth, which was a nice change to the screaming I’ve currently been listening to.
Sometimes artists who’ve found their niche tend to make the whole record sound the same and don’t bring in a lot of variety other than what’s in their genres, but I liked that there was a variety of different sounds throughout the songs on the album. ‘Croire et Tenir’ has a funkiness to it that I couldn’t help but want to dance to. It has a little bit of psychedelic/disco/funky/70s vibe to it. I could all but envision being dressed in a colourful patterned shirt, bell-bottom pants, and metallic platform shoes walking into a club with strobe lights and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. What’s fun about this song is that there’s a complete transformation. One minute it goes from being in a night club and the next I’m at a rock ‘n’ roll show, then it’s back to the disco.
Aside from the lyrics, I thoroughly enjoyed the composition piece of the album. Within the first song, I had a feeling It was going to be more hard rock than expected. I assumed when I first researched this artist folk meant ukeleles, plucking of guitar strings and other general folk sounds; but, I was pleasantly surprised when it was much harder. Don’t get me wrong, there is folk blended in and you can easily pick up on it, but it’s masked by rock. I recommend this album to anyone looking to try something new or any hard rock fans looking for a new take on the genre.
In addition to All These Things, Swan also has an EP entitled Looking For Tomorrow as well as two singles – ‘Give Me Back The Sun’ and ‘Montre-toi’ from his debut full-length album. All of these songs are available for streaming on Apple Music and Spotify. To keep up with Romain you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.