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The French Machine

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Album Review

And no wonder they named the album The French Machine, given that's exactly what a Minitel is. As with any number of acts in the run up to 2010, Minitel Rose are hell-bent on making it sound like a variant of 1980, or at least some sort of never-never land that takes in everything electronic and vaguely Euro from 1977 to 1985 and makes one big thing out of it. (Not for nothing is one of the strongest and more dramatic songs called "When I Was Punk.") Happily, Minitel Rose have the kind of catchy knack familiar from acts like U.S.E. — if they're not as crazed and excited as that Seattle group, they do sound like they are happy to be there thanks to their smooth, sweet vocals over often huge beats. That latter element also showcases the inevitable developments in electronic music since their lodestone time — for all the filters and shimmering space synths, the big drum punch and bass levels on a song like "Elevator" and the blasting closer, "Better Days Part II," take advantage of technology and general production tricks of more recent vintage, something that the electro tweaks and proto-hip-hop breaks on "Magic Powder" also readily call to mind. Meanwhile, on "Be with You," the act reworks the schaffel craze of the 2000s to create a very classically glam song, complete with a spiraling main guitar line and the kind of rough-and-ready punch that Slade would have loved.

The French Machine, Minitel Rose
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