Music Review: Alan Cave, Timeless, Volume 1

Alan Cave Music

As promised, I am going to take a look at Timeless, Volume 1 by Alan Cave. If you missed the Kreyolicious review of Volume 2, CLICK HERE.

Alan Cave Music
CD Image via HMI PIX

The song sequence strategy on this volume is very strong.

Sa Wap Fè Avè’m [Whatcha Gonna Do With Me?]

I truly like the vulnerability on this one. Whatcha gonna do with me…the singer’s delivery is flawless on this track. And, so much begging and pleading. Definitely my type of song.

About time a man is suffering! God knows that women go through so much when it comes to love.

But you almost feel sorry (slightly) for the narrator, when he howls, “Map mande’w ki sa wap fè avè’m. M’pèdi lanmou” in this super-pathetic voice.

Whappen [What Happened]

Two things can happen with the song that opens an album. Scenario one: it’s really boring and plain and its just there as a filler. Scenario two: it’s going to end up being one of the best tracks on the album, and is placed strategically at the beginning of the record to make you anticipate even better tracks. Which category does “Whappen” belong to? The second. The production is very rowdy, and I guess it’s meant to corroborate with the narrator’s tumultuous feelings.

I love how he does a syllable-by-syllable delivery at the lyrics towards the beginning, like a little kindergartener who’s learning to pronounce words for the first time. A great way to practice your Creole and enhance your vocabulary. Check out the lyrics:

Lan-mou sa bèl kon lakansyèl
Li pa ka re-te kon-fi-dan-syèl…

Wout kè mwen ekri nan pla men’w
Lavi mwen trase anba pye ou
Lanmou sa se yon pòt san seri
San bato li travèse lanmè
San paspò, li fè tout latè

This love is stunning like a rainbow
It can’t possibly be kept on the hush-hush

The roadways of my heart are written in the palms of your hand
My life’s roadmap is etched under the soles of your feet
This love is like a door without a lock
It travels the world’s waters without a boat
Without as much as a passport, it tours the whole planet

My goodness! That’s some serious infatuation. No word on how the girl who inspires the “Whappen” feels about this and whether the obsession is requited. Let’s hope she feels this way as well. Otherwise, that’s a whole waste of beautiful emotions.

Alan Cave

Café Au Lait [Milk in the Coffee]

This one is sung in French. It’s cutesie-pie and romantic sounding. The arrangements are nice, and the melody sweet as ripe pears.

Jouk Nan Zo

“Fanm sa renmen mwen jis nan zo/Sa’w tande a tèt mwen cho”—-This girl loves me down to my bones/She sends my mind reeling. So begins this song, that features Mikaben.

I like how this strong is structured. Hook first, then bridge, then body. This production on this track is very bouncy. An attention-catcher on Volume, 1.

Lil Mama

I didn’t find this song to be especially memorable. It’s an ideal track to liven up things…you know when you’re having a homey get-together, and the host is less than interesting, and the DJ tries to spruce up things…The singer decided to add a dance version of “Lil Mama”, sequenced towards the end of the album. This time around, it’s livened up by an artist who goes by the name Johnzo.

San Ou M’Se [Without You, I’m—]

Do you realize that half of the love songs we’re served with fall along the line of co-dependence? Well, this song is one of those and I rather liked it. For some reason, it called to mind another of this singer’s songs…”Ou Se”. Kinda of like a reversal of it—so to speak. On “San Ou M’Se”, Alan Cave/the narrator has a whole laundry list of how life will be for him without the woman he loves.

San ou M’se
Yon twoudabdou san tanbou
Yon inosan ki kondane
Yon batiman san fondasyon
Yon gita nèf ak kòd kase
Yon finisman san kòmansman

Without you
I’m a street musician without his drums
An innocent who’s been found guilty
A boat without a platform
A brand new guitar with broken chords
A conclusion without a beginning

I truly loved those similes. Just when you thought man had run out of words to express himself and his love.

Alan Cave

Ou Pap Pi Bon

After having listened to “San Ou M’Se”, this song sounded just standard. I like the guitar that comes in around 1:53, but other than that, it didn’t stand out too much for me. It’s not a bad song…it’s not a blah track or anything. It was just plain.

Good Thing

There are two versions of this song, including a world version that incorporates pop.

Grave Sou Kè’m [Etched On My Heart]

Alan Cave’s voice is the highlight of “Grave Sou Kè’m”. It can shush you to pleasant sleep if you’re feeling depressed with its verses about romantic love.

Si lanmou aprann pale
Se pa de koze ki tap tonbe
Tout fèy papye ap pran dife
Inspirasyon mwen pap manke

If this loved learned to talk
Only God knows what it would say
All the paper in the world would get on fire
There wouldn’t be a lack for inspiration

Mon Seul Regret [My Only Regret]

On this track, Cave is joined by two other singers Jim Rama and Fabrice Singer. I rather like this collabo. The music is more French Caribbean than Haiti Caribbean.

Bispidida (feat. Kimberly) [Dismissed]

Alan Cave enters this song at the 1:10 and what an entrance. I’m going to go ahead and say that the singing he does from 1:10 to 1:31. Oh, Alan Cave. Apparently, the song’s title is a distortion of the word “despedida” (Dismissed) in Spanish, or what? Check out all the desperation and lovesickness in the lyrics:

San ou mwen pa tap ka respire
Kelkeswa tan mwen fè deyò, map retounen
Kwè mwen, trezò

Without you, it’s hard to breathe
Don’t matter how long I stay away, I’ll eventually come back
I’ll always love you treasure of mine

Ooh, lala! The Kimberly girl has some really sensuous vocals. Maybe it’s because they’re singing in different languages (she in Spanish and in French, and he in Creole), but you know how when there’s a duet, you can feel this unity between the male-female leads? I didn’t get that from this singing team. This isn’t to say that they don’t have chemistry—they have plenty.

How does Volume 1 compare to Volume 2? Watch out for the second part of the Kreyolicious review of this double album. In the meantime, CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OTHER KREYOLICIOUS MUSIC ARTICLES.


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