Colors of Silence album cover
Colors of Silence

Wally Badarou

2001
Universal Licensing Music (ULM)

Eighties pop wouldn’t be nearly as vivid and bright were it not for the keyboard wizardry of Wally Badarou. The Parisian-born player’s hooks are both ubiquitous and anonymous, from the zaps of M’s “Pop Muzik” to the blips of Level 42’s “Something About You,” from the eerie shimmer of Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” to that gurgle that defined Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.” Badarou’s solo albums are equally ethereal and mysterious, from the 1984 ambient classic Echoes to his soundtrack for Kiss of the Spider Woman. Previously a CD only release, 2001’s Colors of Silence, recently received the vinyl reissue treatment, highlighting the man’s many talents. “Where We Are” tempers New Age calm with springy reggae bounce, while “Pictures of You” is heartbreaking, soundtrack-ready piano balladry. “Oriental” deftly mixes hand drumming and twinkling keys, yoga-friendly and distinctly African at once. His keys can still conjure raindrops falling on broad leaves, bird calls, blinking satellites above earth, or exotic realms not yet glimpsed, only imagined.

Andy Beta

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