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La Femme - Mystère (2016) review

La Femme - Mystère (Born Bad Records, 2016)

The album’s title Mystère is a dead give away as to what you may or may not expect from La Femme, on this their second album, where the band not only creates, but submerges themselves into a grab bag of sorts, ranging from surf rock, near punk, synth-pop, and several skirts with pastoral psychedelia that are rather short for the intensity and emotion [though some will question the sincerity of that emotion], delivering a lengthy sixteen tracks that swell and ebb, as if this creation were designed and produced by a club DJ who just can’t get enough of the addictive attitude, or lack thereof, of La Femme.

Make no mistake about it, this is serious music only, for those who want to have serious mindless fun.  Mystère  is like going to the carnival and then deciding to live there, where the flashing of bright lights shower over the wide eyed faces of the audience with a relentless backbeat that sets it all to motion, invigorate an atmosphere of randomness and surprise.  There is no musical theme found on Mystère, what is found is more cinematic, where the lead vocals change and interchange [both male and female] in an almost film noir soundtrack, where once down the rabbit hole, every room one enters is compelling and completely different … and all seeming to be going on simultaneously.  

Some have essentially called this a release a free spirited avant indie mosaic of electronics.  I would suggest that it’s an adventure into the world of techno meets dream-pop, under varied chemical influences that eventually fold back on themselves, delivering a morphing of disco, but sustained disco nonetheless.  Topping in at nearly 70 minutes this modern opus, with its sci-fi nature is rather long, and certainly a challenge to get through in one sitting … though if you do manage the listening feat, you just might find yourself treated the complexities of a rabbit hole you rather enjoy.  Though having said that, in all honesty, Mystère is not important, nor is it enduring, it’s simply a modern presentation of so much that’s gone before, freshened up of course, yet merely the background to esoteric atmospheric existentialism, though lacking in authenticity.

Yet sometimes … eating sweets is its own reward.

- Jenell Kesler
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