Maher Shalal Hash Baz

C'est la Dernière Chanson

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AllMusic Review by

On his second album for K, C'est la Dernière Chanson, Tori Kudo -- the man behind the name Maher Shalal Hash Baz -- decamped to Paris to record a few songs with a handful of Japanese and French musicians. "Few" meaning almost 200, 177 of which are spread across two discs. Kudo has long been a proponent of blending folk, pop, and experimental music together into frequently lovely sounding semi-improvised songs, many of them quite brief. His previous album, L'Autre Cap, was the pinnacle of his output to date, combining the artier side of his nature with a batch of memorable and affecting songs. This album uses the same basic instrumentation as before (various horns, guitar, drums, and percussion), but Kudo decided that brevity was the key to the process and finishing songs wasn't important. The majority hover around the 30- to 45-second range, with only a few breaking the one-minute barrier. Not surprisingly, these are the most listenable songs on an otherwise trying record. The title translates to "This is the last song" in French and it is a fitting one, because after about 20 snippets, you can't help but wish that each "song" you hear will be the last. There is nothing quite as frustrating as hearing a track start up with a nice little melodic horn line or an interesting arrangement of instruments and then having it peter out before anything really good happens. Perhaps Kudo felt that recording and releasing all these brief pieces, which probably took as long to title as they did to write, is an artistic statement, and that's a valid stance that can't be argued. Unfortunately, if you have the misfortune of sitting through the entire double album you may wish never to hear anything by Kudo again. That surely couldn't have been the point of the exercise, but it very well could be the result. It's a shame Kudo didn't follow through on some of the melodies, because there's the beginning of another very good record here among all the fits and starts. As it is, however, C'est la Dernière Chanson is about as pleasant to listen to as a menu of stock ringtones and nowhere near as rewarding an experience.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:11
2
0:10
3
0:27
4
0:59
5
0:28
6
0:41
7
0:29
8
0:26
9
0:26
10
0:34
11
0:22
12
0:16
13
0:39
14
0:45
15
0:24
16
0:22
17
0:24
18
0:36
19
0:21
20
0:21
21
0:25
22
0:16
23
1:01
24
0:27
25
0:23
26
0:21
27
0:16
28
1:51
29
2:39
30
0:24
31
1:32
32
0:23
33
0:38
34
1:04
35
2:08
36
0:22
37
1:15
38
0:23
39
0:21
40
0:34
41
0:24
42
0:30
43
0:31
44
0:31
45
0:22
46
0:54
47
1:32
48
0:19
49
0:32
50
1:19
51
1:06
52
0:29
53
1:38
54
0:22
55
0:21
56
0:24
57
0:24
58
0:25
59
0:23
60
0:19
61
0:25
62
0:17
63
0:25
64
0:54
65
1:22
66
0:27
67
0:27
68
0:30
69
0:18
70
0:17
71
0:20
72
0:36
73
1:01
74
0:32
75
0:17
76
0:28
77
0:25
78
0:29
79
0:48
80
0:31
81
0:35
82
0:31
83
0:19
84
0:37
85
0:49
86
1:14
87
0:53
88
0:20
89
0:18
90
0:28
91
0:24
92
0:31
93
0:20
94
0:49
95
1:29
96
0:37
97
1:57
98
0:35
99
0:33
100

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:22
2
0:33
3
0:31
4
0:22
5
1:07
6
0:34
7
0:16
8
0:24
9
0:22
10
0:28
11
0:21
12
0:22
13
0:37
14
0:24
15
0:27
16
0:23
17
0:21
18
0:26
19
0:33
20
0:22
21
0:21
22
0:18
23
0:15
24
0:36
25
2:21
26
3:01
27
0:24
28
0:34
29
1:11
30
0:24
31
0:26
32
0:16
33
0:49
34
0:23
35
0:17
36
0:22
37
0:39
38
0:33
39
0:32
40
0:20
41
0:19
42
0:27
43
0:23
44
0:15
45
0:19
46
0:20
47
0:28
48
0:18
49
0:18
50
0:22
51
0:19
52
0:17
53
0:18
54
0:16
55
0:17
56
0:23
57
0:25
58
0:16
59
0:31
60
0:15
61
0:15
62
0:16
63
0:32
64
0:14
65
0:26
66
0:22
67
0:20
68
0:25
69
0:31
70
0:21
71
0:20
72
0:20
73
0:24
74
0:15
75
0:20
76
0:20
77
0:14
78
0:17
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