Malcolm McLaren has never been a musician, at least never in any accepted sense of the word. Rather, he's a self-promoter. Even when he was managing the Sex Pistols, most of his press conferences concentrated on what a great scam he had come up with, not the music itself. On his own records, he's been supported by first-rate musicians who manage to hide his half-baked concepts. On Paris, he has nothing to hide behind -- the musicians fade into the background, since the record is essentially a love letter to Paris. And what a love letter! McLaren's overwrought prose is filled with bad rhymes and awkward imagery, making him sound like a lecherous old man, and the music doesn't help to remove that picture. Instead, the heavily orchestrated cabaret jazz backdrops tend to accentuate the sleaziness of McLaren's words. And that's what makes the record perversely fascinating: every element is so poorly conceived and executed that the entire thing appears to be an intentional joke. The only way he could make Paris any more pretentious and insufferable -- and funnier -- is if he released an instrumental version of it. Which he did, by the way.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2