With this first album, the Swedish Johnathan | Christian are delivering a real display of Darkwave elegance. The ability to produce extremely polished songs, solid and catchy, strikes the most. The production is immaculate, but the vocals bring warmth and exudes soulful tremors (“Fallen”). “Before the Dark”, a cover of French “dark” pop diva Mylène Farmer, is pure class. Another -new- romantic cover shows the dexterity of the act, as Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur” takes you to darker routes than the original.
“Beautiful Hideous” is sung with tears in the eyes, delicate piano and weeping guitars feel like a metaphor of the track, delicate and strong, beautiful and hideous. Slow pace, use of piano and synths, moving vocals: everything brings the listener to contemplation and languor (“Just to Ease the Pain”), and when the violin strings show up, even brightness and hope are allowed (beautiful “Downtrodden”).
Beauty, emotions, elegance, melancholy, hope… “Beautiful Hideous” is a must have and Johnathan | Christian a revelation. ► by Guillaume Renard.