Christian Décamps

Murmures...

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The third album by Christian Décamps and Fils is also Ange's frontman's best solo effort in a decade. On Murmures, Décamps is finally able to put some distance between his writing for his long-standing group and his solo output -- despite the fact that most of the participating musicians played in Ange at some point or another. The poet/singer indulges in his clever wordplays, his slightly outdated naïveté and his obsession with sex. Of course, the richness of the lyrics will be lost on French-deaf listeners, but the catchy melodies and the imaginative arrangements are enough to appreciate this album. In fact, music-wise, Murmures ranks significantly higher than Décamps and Fils' first opus Nu (1994). Love and its physical consumption have always been the singer's topics of choice, and thus eroticism is laced in the lyrics of most of the 17 songs. "Antoinette @ . cul" portrays a high-school teacher by day turning into a famous Internet porn author by night. In "Lesbien" (a neologism to create a masculine form for the word "lesbienne," the French equivalent for "lesbian"), Décamps claims that "In love, I am a lesbian," while "Le Grincement de la Chaussure Gauche du Contrôleur du Paris-Bâle" tells of a sexual encounter in a train. Responsible for all the arrangements, Tristan Décamps pulls all the stops, using several layers of keyboards and guitars, plus the occasional accordion, harmonica and ethnic percussion, along with plenty of loops, samples, and voice effects to multiply Christian's personalities. The results are quite entertaining, but maybe not as moving as intended. Despite a bit of overproduction, Murmures is a strong solo outing -- that has very little to do with the progressive rock stylings of Ange.

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