Release Date: Jan 29, 2016
Record label: Columbia
It's difficult to listen to St. Lucia's second full-length without thinking of a list of Eighties touchstones: "Home" recalls the high-energy grooves of Prince at his purplest, the synths on "The Winds of Change" sound a little like Madonna's "Lucky Star." Ultimately, though, St. Lucia mastermind Jean-Philip Grobler – a South African by birth who performed for Nelson Mandela many years ago – uses touches of 2010s house music to move past the shadow of those obvious forerunners.
St. Lucia’s second LP is aptly titled Matter, and I say that because the album sounds like it’s chock-full of it. Songs are driven by grandiose synth arrangements and triumphant choruses. Admittedly, the man behind the stage name, Jean-Philip Grobler does a pretty good job in that area. And he ….
If trendiness is currency then Jean-Philip Grobler of New York's St. Lucia is filthy rich. With a wallet fattened by hot tips about what's en vogue and EDM calling cards, he's like a kid in a record store who spends it all just to be current. Matter is the South-African-born songwriter's second full-length release, and is more consciously stylized than his breezier debut When the Night.There's relatively no atmosphere and groove this time around, and many of the songs seem forced, as if he's tried to ensure this one goes mainstream.
If some is good, more is better. That seems like a bizarre tenet from which to operate in an era of uncertainty and self-consciousness. But synthpop is fast becoming the last refuge of the conspicuous consumer — a genre where excess isn’t just rewarded, it’s an organizing methodology. It is within that world that Brooklyn-via-South-Africa musician Jean-Philip Grobler returns with his second LP as St.