(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CD review - Everybody is in the French Resistance...NOW!, Fixin' the Charts Volume 1 (2009)

Eddie Argos (Art Brut) and Dyan Valdés (The Blood Arm) have partnered on a side project, Everybody is in the French Resistance...NOW! The band's premise is based on writing response songs and Fixin' the Charts riffs on everyone from Kanye (Coal Digger) to the Archies ((I'm So) Waldo P Emerson Jones). The humor is broad but generally pretty amusing. The music has a sort of retro Brit feel, with tinges of Carnaby Street. It's so, so mod. Eddie proclaims the lyrics more than he sings them and Dyan add some nice backing vocals.

Billie's Genes is probably the strongest piece, written from the perspective of Michael Jackson's love child (Billie Jean). It kicks off with a keyboard-synth horn riff, then the beat comes in. It's a clever turnaround on the original: the kid is fairly glad not to have grown up as Michael Jackson's kid. Aside from the MJ context, this song works. The arrangement is smooth with tight backing vocals.

Think Twice (It's Not Alright) is another strong number, with it's needy version of Bob Dylan. The harpsichord keys riff off the original melody. This is truly the anti-Dylan.
Think and then think again
Before you say it's too late for us
Think and then think again
I don't believe your mind is fully made up.
The image of Dylan singing this one is hilarious.

There are plenty of other great targets here: Avril Lavigne, Martha Reeves, the aforementioned Kanye West, and Frank Sinatra. Sit down with a pint of lager and have a laugh.

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