Ordinary Drugs is the fifth in a stream of albums that have steadily been released since 2015. Since then Folamour has crept out of from behind the slick frontage of his Lo-fi Jazz in Chapeau Rouge and welcomed the growing dominance of disco throughout his work. Since the success of 4MYPPL#1, it seems the following albums have continued the pursuit of ‘space Jazz’ while also giving room for Folamour’s downplayed version of disco.
The album, which is markedly longer than the musician’s previous works boasts a collection of provocatively named songs and welcome collaborations. Of those, notably is ‘After Winter Must Come Spring’ featuring Elbi which harks back to Sade with its effortless combination of soul and smooth Jazz. Similarly, ‘Between The Nights’ and ‘I don’t Sleep at Night But I wake Up At 6AM’ possess a same smooth quality which Folamour is evidently very comfortable with producing. Songs such as these justify the intro which indicates the listener is walking into a warm, breezy paradise. The meandering nature of the album does naturally give itself away to being slow, and that’s not unfortunate, unless the experience you want is one that asks for your undivided attention.
That said, standout track, ‘These Are Just Places to Me Now’ forgoes the smooth uniform of preceding songs and boasts the tempo and undeniable catchiness of one of his arguably most popular tracks, ‘Ya Just Need to Believe in Yaself’. This is a satisfying break from the less impactful track ‘Parfums D’Aurore’ and ‘I only Remember You When I Sleep’ which surround it
It is emphatic, perhaps, to suggest that the album ends on a high with ‘Theme for Marie’, and yet it makes sense. For an album which is dedicated at exploring the intersection between downplayed house, Jazz and disco it seems appropriate to end with a creation which spans across those genres. Like most of the album it is weak when played alone, and yet faultless within the meticulously curated sound of Ordinary Drugs.