Review of Parisien II Album by Kitsune

It seems as though French record and fashion label Kitsune have been releasing compilations as long as compilations have been around; while it's not actually been that long in the historical spectrum it's safe to say they have a proven track record when it comes to the high tech mix tape. Their latest Kitsune Parisien II is the second-der-in their series showcasing all French artists the majority of which you have never heard of before. As we've come to expect from Kitsune though the artists here are all either Indie, Electronic, or a nice amalgamation we now know as indietronica.

Kitsune Parisien II Album

Tomorrow's World start the record with their minimal future bleeps, but it's Juveniles who really get the party started with their bouncy, jangly, electro guitar pop, it's nothing new and the British versions of them have already come and gone, but it's easy on the ear and gets you in the mood.

What the record does handle well is its pacing as it flits between male and female fronted acts and it's pleasingly refreshing to hear so many great female vocals here. 'Free (Parisien mix)' by Owlle is a lovely La Roux type disco number with some clear 80's influences in the leading synths. The danger of cheese is ever present throughout this compilation, but it just about misses it and in between probable dance floor fillers like Nameless's 'Angelina' and just plan boring, 'Airports' by Slowdance, the album merely coasts along a pleasing path.

The former with its chants of: "Please, you should be dancing with me, you've got it all Angelina," and the perfect keyboard offsetting that sharp guitar hook is easily one of the best songs on the record. Again it fits perfectly into their fellow Frenchman's, Phoenix, school of sure-fire hits, but when it's this good you can't help but give in. Birkii's 'Holy War' gets on the nerves a bit by the time it ends, but before that it's a lovely slow number akin to something you might hear on a Ladytron record, just not quite as good. The smooth polished vocals are a delight though.

After this point the record seems to slip into mediocrity with nothing much of note and the majority of the worst songs packed in the final twenty minutes. This might have something to do with the fact that there are less gangly vocals and more ambient electro and then a slightly droning mix of the two by Exotica whose track 'Spectrum' doesn't really know what it wants to be. Thankfully in this half is 'Modern Realm' by Wolfpack Beartrack easily scooping the title of best track on the record. The slow groove beat and childish synths that dress the edges are the perfect build up for the introduction of rapper Pierre Stoner who knocks it out of the park with his elegantly rolled 'r's and general urbanite presence. It's alarmingly good.

There's nothing life changing here and no bands that it will propel into the stratosphere, but another solid addition to the ever growing Kitsune catalogue.

Lauren Mullineaux

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