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métisse - my fault (Wildstar)

Métisse inhabit the same kind of slow, sensual world of electronics as bands like St Etienne, the late, lamented One Dove, Dot Allison's old band and Enigma around the time of their first album. The beats are soft and slow, the music of the synths is full and enfolds the breathlessly beautiful vocals of Aïda without overwhelming them. The lyrics slide easily from a heavily and seductively accented English to French and possibly other languages (individual words are difficult to make out).

The single, 'Boom Boom Bâ', is a catchy little piece with layers and layers of vocals crossing over each other in the two languages, making you want to sing along, but also unsure of what you're singing along to! Many of the songs owe an obvious debt to the late master of sensual Gallic pop music, Serge Gainsberg, though they do resist the temptation to simply recreate 'Je t'aime'. Other references include a very tongue in cheek take off of the Cranberries on 'CoCo', while 'Pray' gives a nod in the direction of This Mortal Coil.

'Azo Azo' heads off in a different direction to the rest of the album, with a very heavy bass dub sound, with only snatches of African-sounding vocal alongside techno blips and beeps. 'Walking Home' features a mix of what sound like different vocals, one obviously Aïda, but the other is much deeper and fuller, closer to Grace Jones' level. It could be Aïda, but I'm not completely sure.

In all, it's an album that flows perfectly, with each track merging seamlessly with the next, but with enough variation to prevent the album getting boring. The references are varied and eclectic and métisse retain enough of their own personality throughout to avoid becoming like the innumerable faceless, soundalike techno pop bands clogging up the charts. Métisse deserve to do very well, and it seems that they've made friends in all the right places to do so, as Madonna has taken an interest in them.

Donnacha DeLong

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