Saturday, March 28, 2009

Album Review: Charlotte & Magon "Love Happening"

Well, I hope that the boy/girl duo... how to say, convention? Trope? Fad? Archetype? Whatever, I hope that it doesn't burn itself out. I've commented in other places about its ubiquity these days, but one aspect of it that seems to be just as is the romantic connection between the two folks involved. A dysfunctional Buckingham Nicks or White Stripes, sure. That's there. Plenty of that sort of thing. This band Charlotte & Magon certainly seems to exist on the other end of that spectrum, a French-Israeli duo with a charming courtship and romance-laden recording consummation. I'd like to think that not all BGDs end up this way, with the result either good or bad. Did Plant and Krauss hook up? Dear lord... someone please provide me with counterexamples! The Postal Service does NOT COUNT.

"Love Happening" had the good fortune to immediately hit me in a tender spot... my desire for a new Zero 7 album to come out. It is lushly orchestrated, thick synths and flutes and fuck-all washing over the young lovers' crooning, then veering into minimal grooves that made me think I was listening to "The Garden." The interplay between- what were their names again?- the two singers is very intimate, and the weight of their highly charged backstory adds a certain fumbly urgency to their delivery. As my readers may recall I appreciate the encroachment of real life into the delivery of art, and wherever it may have interefered with the 'professionalism' of the recording, it increased the value of the emotional impact. I'd like to believe that Magon fights a raging boner everytime he sings "You are my muse..." And why not? He's in love. Charlotte's voice, and the 70's artistic theme they've chosen, hearkens me back a little to Serge Gainsbourg, which disturbs and excites me.

This is an exquisite album, and I hope that the brightly flaring love story that powers it can sustain many more. My one quibble is that one version of their cover art is perhaps the most monstrous thing I've ever seen. Sorry, kids, I call it how I see it.


EDIT Postscriptum: Late-breaking update.

Apparently the aforementioned image is not an alternative cover, but a piece of fan-submitted art. Much like the Charlotte/Magon fanfic I'll be writing later. Rrrowl!!!

1 comment:

Amber Dawn said...

I'll have to check this out. I'm fond of the charming French dirty old man known as Gainsbourg..