Jean-Mo, what an interesting character. Not much is said online about him, only that he is a solo artist from Quebec. But I can get down with that! Let the music speak for itself right? Wild Hunt is a massive undertaking, an hour and a quarter track of instrumental mood/ambient music. Essentially, the antithesis to everything that’s going on in the music world today; where people crave that catchy single that they can add to their Spotify playlists, Youtube channels or what have you. But hey, if Brian Eno had success doing ambient works in the 70s when rock and pop music were at its zenith, at least financially speaking, why can’t Jean-Mo do it in 2019?
For starters, Jean-Mo’s Wild Hunt does not do what so many of Brian Eno’s great works did, and that’s take you on a sonic adventure. There is a boldness on Wild Hunt that’s for sure, including elements such as heavy metal guitar riffs intertwined with classical sounding folk tunes and electronic sampling is nothing if not bold. But as I sit here writing, with Wild Hunt playing in the background I can’t help but feel that instead of being taken on an adventure, I have just been beaten, bound, thrown in the back of a car and driven around a parking lot for a number of hours. So much of it is redundant and repetitive that even the vast instrumentation cannot save it from being, well, plain boring. After about fifteen or twenty minutes of listening, it starts to become tasking and even the guitars and drums start to feel uninspired. On the flip side, I could make the point that it would be better served as background music, but I feel it’s not ethereal enough to ease you into any state of relaxation or meditation. Served up as a whole piece of music, Wild Hunt is simply too overbearing.
Add to this the frustration that there are no vocals (save for a few screams and moans scattered sporadically through the piece) and I have all but given up. There are great pieces of music that I adore, with no vocals, but honestly, they are rare and this is not one of them. With some shorter, broken up songs and some vocals, I can see Jean-Mo having some really successful and eclectic tunes akin to what Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree are doing, but Wild Hunt is just not gonna cut it for me. Jean-Mo should change his name to Jean No Mo because I can’t listen to this album no mo.
**disclaimer** Header shot was taken by Jean-Mo’s Facebook page because there is literally no album cover.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Mike Milito