Kahimi Karie

Le Roi Soleil

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In 1996, fans were thinking that surely after about six EPs and several singles, Kahimi Karie would release a full album. It was not to be. Le Roi Soleil has some standout tracks on it, but it's not very coherent; it's a mop-up of tracks that had been kicking around for a while. The title track is the best, a dizzy Cornelius-produced, Momus-composed number that creates a psychedelic stew of Led Zep drums and cooing, multi-tracked vocals (strangely edited when it appeared on her U.S. compilation). That and the Bertrand Burgalat-produced French pop of "Ma Langue Au Chat" are the best tracks here. The rest is cobbled together: "Take It Easy My Brother Charlie," a cover of an Astrud Gilberto song, comes from a much-earlier various-artists comp, "A Fantastic Moment" is a very rough demo, and "Humming Ga Kikoeru," a then-recent single, is one of Karie's and Keigo Oyamada's weakest works, recycling the Flinstones theme song, swirling strings, and clattering drums into a big noisy nothing.

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