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New Watoo Watoo album
French duo Watoo Watoo are back, and with what turns out to be (at long last!) their first proper album. As such, "Le Fumalin" pulls together all the band's experience from their previous efforts for labels Radio Khartoum and Blackbean & Placenta, and builds from there. The basic Watoo Watoo traits are in evidence: Pascale's airy, lightly melancholic-tinged vocals, jazzy jangle a la francaise, hummingbird twee, and tight little solos--right on the money, as always. The band's expansion from here takes on two forms. First, in line with the pop world's increasing openness to non-English vocals, Pascale makes much better use of her native French this time around, reverting to English on only two songs. Second, instrumentation, of course! Lots more...piano, Rhodes, vibes, organ, mellotron, etc. More electronics (check "L'univers etrange," a standout hybrid of minimal synth work and groovy guitars, as a perfect a backdrop for chanteuse Pascale as you could ask for), more experimentation (check the unexpected conclusion of "Un peu plus loin," reminiscent of early Rough Trade/Wales experimental pop), and more directions (classic carousel pop, 60s basement groove, chamber pieces, solo piano). As always, Watoo Watoo's sound takes on a bit from the guitarists that Michael invites (Michael plays everything but guitar), in this case Didier Duclos (aka Christine) and Guillaume Belhomme (aka Gypsophile). Debut release from the new French label Les Disques Maladroits, with two bonus cuts.

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Published: 18 June 2003 Author: Peter Hahndorf
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