Nude for Love

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Bumcello's third album in as many years, Nude for Love follows what has become a recipe for Vincent Segal and Cyril Atef: pop music laced with rai, strings, and an elaborate (some would say labored) studio production. The resulting tunes hold appeal to both European club dancers and the living-room listener. But whenever Bumcello aims for the dancefloor, the cluttered multi-tracking dulls the impact of the music. And when the duo tries to do artsy pop, it often sounds like a precious take on worldbeat. Nevertheless, a few tracks stand out, like the single "Death in Brest," "Sararevé," and the funny "In the Nude for Love," by far the best song on this CD. For this album, the duo called in a few favors that amount to a long guest list. Appearing in more or less important roles are Mathieu Chédid (aka M), Manou N' Guessan, and Lateef the Truthspeaker (rapping in "Beautiful You"). More central to the group's sound are violinist Hervé Cavelier and violist Jean-Marc Apap, enriching Segal's cello parts. The kind of genre-blending Bumcello aims for borders dangerously on artistic pretension and the vein of humor present throughout the album is what prevents the ship from sinking down.

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