Can Can

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Lio's fifth album, following a solid commercial high point with her Pop Model release, found her indulging a more varied side of her art, resulting in a smorgasbord of songs and styles that entertains if not always hangs together well. While the title indicates a fascination with (stereotypical?) French imagery, Can Can is like Amours Toujours not trying to replicate a time and place so much as evoke it indirectly. "Seules les Filles Pleurent," a single that also kicks off the album, starts as a bit of a funhouse tinged with Fellini street life before sliding into a more typical late-'80s easy rock background, for instance. If not as immediate as other singles of hers, it's still a gentle treat, and the smooth control of her voice is enjoyable to hear. Generally speaking, the calmer numbers are the more successful, including the sweet "Je Suis Sa Chose" and the big-band-tinged "C'Est Ça Ma Vie," though the bluesy, almost new country "Allergique" is an interesting uptempo diversion. Elsewhere, there are hints of the sparkling arrangements from the Suite Sixtine era ("L'Amour C'Est Tres Surfait," "Jimmy") and the sheer peppy energy of the past ("Qu'est-ce Que Tu Caches dans Ta Poche"), though generally these are enjoyable more than remarkable. There are moments throughout where things are definitely on the flatter tip, regrettably -- "Vivement Que Je Sois une Petite Vieille" has some great vocals, lead and backing, in the service of only intermittently interesting music, for instance. The 2006 reissue includes four bonus tracks, featuring two remixes of "Tu Es Formidable," a lovely live version of "El Mayor," and an extended version of her remake of the Ritchie Valens hit "La Bamba."

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