Wouter Hamel’s new album ‘Pompadour’ is all about passion for life. While previous album ‘Lohengrin’ (2011) was more of an introverted and solo production, ‘Pompadour’ grew out of creative collaborations that resulted in the purest of pop music.
For ‘Pompadour’, Wouter Hamel teamed up with producer Benny Sings for the first time since the very successful albums ‘Hamel’ (2007) and ‘Nobody's Tune’ (2009). Years may have passed but this partnership resumed in the most natural of ways. “Benny and I complement one another when it comes to our ideas about sound and how a song should be presented,” observes Wouter Hamel. “We’re a great team”. ‘Pompadour’ is also the first album recorded in Wouter’s own studio in Amsterdam.
Teamwork is central to ‘Pompadour’ and expressed in a variety of ways. To be released a week before the album, the first single ‘Hollywood’ is an excellent example of this. “It’s an upbeat pop song with a chorus I wrote with Simon Gitsels whom I used to study with. I then took it over to Benny and we fine-tuned the verses and harmonies until it totally came together. Only then, did Shirma Rouse deliver her part – and her powerful voice made the track shine even more,” says Hamel.
‘Pompadour’ arose out of a very social process that was both fun and adventurous. The exciting and energetic selection of songs has a surprise around every corner. Jazz legend Mark Murphy joined Wouter Hamel in a studio in Manhattan and recorded a spoken word performance of a verse Wouter wrote which has now resulted in the singular ‘Never Trust a Man’.
The beautifully restrained and introspective ‘Traveling Alone’ is a duet with Danish songstress Penny Police. “It’s a song I'd written with Remco Kühne. I then heard Penny Police on a blog and was totally enchanted by her magical voice. It only took a Facebook message to make the collaboration happen. Both of us were ready to jump off the deep end.”
When combined with the unified tone of ‘Pompadour’, these various musical side-trips have resulted in a bubbling and extroverted whole. As the purest of pop music, the album bursts with a passion for life.