I have to confess, I like French pop a lot. It takes a bit of getting used to but somehow the language works in a different way and makes almost everything break with the conventional way you are used to hearing stuff. So from Piaf, to Serge and Ye-Ye, Dutronc and the psychegaelic, Francois Hardy and Antoine, Vannier and Polnareff, Cabrel & Souchon, Mano Negra/Chao, Les Rita Mitsoukos, Cerrone, MC Solaar, Arthur H, NTM, and Noir Desir I like a lot of it, and I’ll always give it a go. Johnny Hallyday (mostly), and Mylene Farmer are exceptions I admit but I’ve given them a crack and found gems there. Even when they start doing it all in English like Air, Phoenix and Daft Punk in a way that’s a bit coals to Newcastle – well they have their own thing and style. And the style is often very, very good.
One area I thought they weren’t so good at was punk rock, but then I found Metal Urbain and realised they were ok at that too, sort of Stooges meet Metal Machine Music in a clusterfuck of good noise -
But I am left a bit indifferent by Niagara, even if they are on LCD’s hipster list. The two piece synth pop duo is cool for being synth pop, and because (I suspect) she (Muriel Laporte/ Moreno) looked great. They made 4 albums but never really seemed to top their first single “Tchiki Boum” which is a sort of bouncy 80s pop number.
I’m more of a fan of L’Amour A La Plage with its mambo, cha cha cha and kissing references and 80s pervy video but it’s still more pop than anything cool I can see.
In short nothing that any hipster would really drop before, even, Madonna. And certainly not ahead of Depeche Mode (who wouldn’t make my cool list either, but some people seem to like).
Anyway, make your own minds up. I am going to listen to a bit more and see if French New Wave redeems itself.
[Cool Accidents went franglais over Tchiki Boum, and couldn’t help thinking it was a bit like Eurhythmics. So maybe that’s the one to drop .. but the fan boys react similarly to the way they treat Opal/ Mazzy Star so perhaps those are a better comparison. The power of a moody, attractive front woman. Or maybe even early Madonna when JellyBean was in tow and before she became bigger and better than everyone]