Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Bird Of Music - Au Revoir Simone

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It's fair to say that on paper that Au Revoir Simone are a set-up that is tailor made to my specifications; three not-unattractive women with their keyboards out peddling a line in synth-pop with little nuances of The Pipettes here and Metric there. And it appears that I'm not the only one who was reminded of the rather good film The Virgin Suicides (one of the few films that lives on now I'm past my Kirsten Dunst "phase" by the cover artwork. And although any similarities between the musical soundtrack that Air provided for that film are merely cosmetic, I got the sense throughout listening to this that this would provide an almost perfect backdrop for that film as well.

Still, that's just me waffling on about things not really to do with anything you might want to hear about. Yes, I can hear those cries of "but what is the music actually like?"

Well it's a little sad to say that the idea doesn't quite work in practise.

There are some great songs, no doubt. A Violent Yet Flammable World may well be THE highlight of the album; with a drum beat reminiscent of Bat For Lashes' What's A Girl To Do it drives along in a cavalcade of brooding and swirling synth strings to great effect. Sad Song is a simpler, but addictive, effort but it's almost impossible to resist. And Fallen Snow is quite brilliant too, although how much that has to do with my, impossible to explain here, long love of church organs is open to question.

It ticks all the right boxes, I have to say, but as a whole just lacks that little spark that would really set it apart from the chasing pack. Whereas We Are The Pipettes was transformed by a little personality, this one is treading water where that is concerned. I'd recommend it, but with a caveat not to expect TOO much from it.

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