The No Comprendo
Les Rita Mitsouko
1986: Virgin 07777 866442 0
The English lyrics are a bit clumsy here and there, but so much fun there is to be had on this CD! Its a fine improvement on their debut album, still nowhere near the rich and solid sound they began to deliver in the 1990s and apparently have perfected as Ringers voice has matured but definitely a step into the solid territory of their future. As with other Les Rita Mitsouko albums, there are interesting parallels with Eurythmics in this: Dave & Annie shed their Tourists skins in the process of making In the Garden and emerged with their second independent albums hit Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), and on the French side of the coin Catherine & Fred stepped further into their unique zone with this album and secured themselves their own surefire signature tune with Andy.
Bad Days is a gas again, the English may be dodgily passable (speak of bad days would probably be better translated as talkin bout bad days, for example), but the sentiment is rich with biting sarcasmI gonna spend the nite / and dont ask me with who / the great and delicious full fat bloody ball / a brand of big pig will be allright, theres a taste for you .
In addition to the ample supply of quirky tracks here, there are some nearly-elegant and still lyrically quirky gems: Vol de Nuit is a personal favorite of mine, and Un Soir un Chien is a wavering phantom of surrealism in that melodic realm and it oh-so-gently darkens and enrichens the album by its inclusion. Stupid Anyway I first heard done on Acoustiques and it took awhile before I was able to enjoy this version as much as I did the other Im mentioning it in this paragraph because its more languid than many of the tracks on this album, but really its in a class by itself, one both divy and poignantly elegant.
As with Eurythmics and their hits, including Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Ive never been too fond of AndyLRMs repertoire has just had too many finer works, and I didnt experience Andy as an iconic moment in pop music history. Still, it got its debut here (in two versions, an English one apparently added to sweeten the potential pot) and is now a solid pillar of their concert catalogue. I still dont quite get its appeal, but its OK to be in the minority sometimes after all.
Les Histoires dA, Nuit dIvresse, and Cest Comme Ça, by the way, I prefer in their Acoustiques form, but again Im prejudiced in having heard the latter first.
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.