It takes some self confidence to describe yourself as one of the most beautiful male voices of your country. In the case of Iñaki Barrocal, though, considering his country is the principality of Andorra, many of us would be hard-pushed to counter this claim. No matter, ‘Call Me Your Majesty’ is a relaxing, atmospheric ambient pop album in its own right.
Curiously, opening impressions resemble an odd alliance between Enigma and ‘Justify My Love’-period Madonna. Barrocal’s whispered vocals are set against his own choral-style backing whilst seductive beats and synths suggests high-end sensual background music. Yet, pleasingly, as the album progresses, there’s clearly a lot more going on underneath the surface. The single ‘I Luv U’ employs spaced-out drums and echo effects to deliver a moment which is both relaxing and haunting in its execution.
This is unquestionably a very moody album and although the total time of seventy minutes could have done with some pruning, there’s no doubting it is a very seamless experience (apart from a couple of acoustic numbers) and such a quietly involving record that even subtle moments such as ‘A New Today’ and ‘Embrace The Sky’ contain some deceptively insidious melodies. Most impressive at all is ‘A Higher Plane’, where Barrocal creates what sounds like an ambient club anthem in-waiting. As usual, Barrocal takes a very understated approach but the soft electronica and Barrocal’s relaxing tones are particularly hypnotic here.
‘Call Me Your Majesty’ contains impressive vocal layering which supports Barrocal’s claim to national greatness but moreover this is quite a strong album which contains enough nuances in its comforting backdrop to rank this above background music (although it can certainly serve that purpose if you were that way inclined). All hail the new music King of Andorra, then.