Prolific is not a word you could use to describe experimental chanteuse Charlotte Marionneau; this is her first album for a decade, notwithstanding a standalone EP released a couple of years back.

An idiosyncratic character who sings in a mixture of French and English and who has a loose and occasional association with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, Marionneau’s elusiveness seems to pervade her music as well as her character. Opener ‘Born To Lie’ is typically ephemeral, and sounds something like Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ sung by a stoned pixie at the bottom of an enchanted glade. This is swiftly followed by ‘I Love The Living You’, a simple but beautiful acoustic effort with plaintive, Elliot Smith-esque vocals, while a high point comes in ‘Le Petit Chevalier’, which is atmospheric and beautiful, something like Nick Cave at his storytelling best.

But for all this, ‘I Wish Dee Dee Ramone Was Here With Me’ is a very frustrating listen. The whole record has an overly whimsical feel, of beautiful ideas translated poorly between conception and execution. ‘Rusty’ is rough-feeling, incoherent and aimless, while ‘Lazy’ sounds like a toddler’s music box mashed into a car alarm. Marionneau’s obvious talent and artistry shines through at odd moments here, but is more often obscured by overly gauche delivery.


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