The Prototypes' self-titled debut on Minty Fresh combines songs from the group's two albums released in France in 2004 (Tout le Monde Cherche Quelque Chose) and 2006 (Mutants Mediatiques), seven songs from each. After about 30 seconds of the first track you're going to start wondering why Minty Fresh didn't release both albums in their entirety. From start to finish, the Prototypes deliver nothing but hooks, spirited performances, sexy soul, and tough-as-dirt punch that will leave you breathless. Blending garage rock guitars, new wave synths, punk rock simple drumming, and alternately flirty and shirty vocals from Isabelle LeDoussal, the group has an enlivening and live-wire sound that jumps right out of the speakers and kicks you in the pants. You can hear bits of everyone from Holly Golightly, Stereo Total, and the B-52's to Bo Diddley, Françoise Hardy, and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, yet the Prototypes are never less than an inspired original. The aforementioned opener, "Je Ne Te Connais Pas," is almost perfect with wheezy organ, fuzz bass, handclaps, tambourine, and shouted yeah-yeah background vocals, all whipped into a frothy blend that sounds like 21st century ye-ye mixed with what you wish teen pop sounded like. The highlights scattered throughout the collection almost reach this heady level, especially the sassy "Gentleman," "Un Brin de Fierte," "Dans sur la Merde," and "Sexy." They even manage to incorporate cheesy rapping and scratching (on "Who's Gonna Sing") and dance-punk (on "Tir aux Pigeons") without skipping a beat. Basically, every musical choice they make is right, every note LeDoussal sings is right, every song they sing is a hit on a perfect jukebox, and everyone who has a soft spot for French indie pop/rock with sass and style needs to hunt this disc down, or better yet track down the French imports. Whatever you do, check them out now so that when they blow up you can say to all your friends, "I was a fan before you were a fan."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra