Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nous Non Plus et Vous

Seriously LOVE this band. One of my all time favorite finds. This video is pretty awesome too!

Band: Nous Non Plus
Album: Menagerie
Rating: Five out of Five Stars

Read Review at In Your Speakers

Elegant, sexy, chic and multi-lingual. No, ladies, I’m not describing the perfect man (well, maybe I am), but rather the perfect band. The challenge of finding the perfect band (and man, but that’s another review) has tormented music lovers such as myself for two decades. You know what I mean. They need that certain savoir-faire, that certain je ne sais quoi, that certain carefully crafted mixing of Moog synthesizers with string sections accompanied by horns with distorted guitars. But when you finally do find it, you propose. You wed. And you have a honeymoon full of sweaty love making a la 60’s French pop (Go-Go boots not included).

Nous Non Plus (pronounced ‘new non ploo’) is an indie rock band straight out of New York City. While they sound very French, the band is actually composed of five Yankees plus one Swiss-German. Many of the band members were actually part of the original collaboration of Les Sans Culottes, another faux-French band. Letting the faux-Frenchness go to their heads, a few of them followed the French tradition of staging a coup d’etat and leaving the band. After a very French battle at court, Nous Non Plus (literally translated to “us no more”) immerged on the scene.

Lead singer, Céline Dijon, bassman/lead singer Jean-Luc Retard, fiddler/vocalist Bonnie Day (which if you say it fast means “good idea” in French), guitarist Cal d’Hommage (which again, if you say if fast means, “what a shame” or “bad idea”), drummer Professeur Harry Covert ( say “Harry Covert” fast and it means “green bean”), along with synth player “Mars” Chevrolet, and François Hardonne (no explanation need for this one, c’est vrai?) fondling those keyboards and pumping his trumpet. So, while their nom de plums may give the impression that the band is less than serious, their faux-French sound will sing you the truth.

Simply put, the entire album is about having fun. The band never limits themselves to one musical style, thus the title of Menagerie holds true, there is something for everyone. It’s like a delectable selection from a never ending French buffet. “Loli” is as rockable in your mouth as a cherry tart, the harmonies of “Catastrophe” are as rich and buttery as warm croissants, French Teacher (my personal favorite because I DO play a French teacher by day) is a swirl of French/English smooth liquor going down just right. Are you hungry yet? You’ll be hungry for more, and this album will feed you and fill you without any guilt of the music calories. In fact, it will induce you into much gluttonous listening behavior.

You want a Broadway musical sound then try “Claque Claque.” What about spooky keyboards in “La Momie” a song about a girl in love with a mummy…pure genius, I know. “Toi et Moi” showcases Dijon’s sultry sound accompanied by a despondent piano, while “Mais Maintenenant, Il Faut Danser” (now, we must dance!) is full of a stomping beat that will have you groovin’ in the reminiscent style of Serge Gainsbourg and Bridget Bardot.

This album will keep you rocking, rolling and just plain ole happy for its entirety. More than that, it will also prove the old adage that, yes, everything really does sound better in French.


mapelba said...

That was fun--and what I needed during kiddo's time out.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I like this side of you D'Arcy. Thanks for the music tips, I need all I can get at my age...