Sid LeRock

Tout Va Bien

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"Chaos for the Aftermath" is a great title for an opener, perhaps strangely, because the mournful drones, mechanistic whirs, and echoed clicks do feel like a wasteland following a bomb impact or three. Often Tout Va Bien has a feeling of a literally haunted house, but given that such an unsettled, self-consciously spooked-out sense of space and sorrow is more often applied to dubstep at the present moment, there's a twist at hearing it reworked for zoned-out space rock synth lines and steady post-Moroder rhythms. "Swollen Member" puts those pieces together very well on what almost feels more like an opening track as a result, propulsive in a classic "start of the movie chase scene" sense. But there's a powerful if sometimes chilled sense of exultance at work as well, heard in the way "La Guidoune" builds to a rich conclusion based around a perfectly nagging two-note hook. Elsewhere, the big echoed "live" sounding four-to-the-floor punch and basic but effective guitar/talkbox riff of "Pow Wow" show that the impact of Daft Punk on dance remains potent, while the AOR guitars and sleaze of "Slainte Mhor" is Italo disco for an FM radio generation (or, alternately, Justice fans). The echoed/zoned vocals on "Still Life" and "Walk Alone" are somewhere between spoken diffidence and whispered come-on, adding gentle drama to a quieter number, with the latter adding even more echo and bass to suggest the lyrical image of "walking alone through the city streets" -- which could sum up the feeling of Tout Va Bien itself, solitary activity in the midst of a massive group effort.

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