Christophe Marc – The Funny Fall (Jamendo)
After listing Christophe’s single a few days back in my revelatory, consciousness expanding, superlative singles round up I found word reaching me of a fully fledged solo album from the same, my extensive and exhaustive spy network reporting back to me every detail of note from the world of Creative Commons as they do (well, he actually told me about it himself but let’s not split hairs). My curiosity piqued and my appetite for experimental Hip Hop, my latest obsession, finally satiated I meandered over to Jamendo and hit the download button with hope in my heart and a glint in my eye. Or at least a cup of tea in my hand and a few hours to kill.
Now for those who didn’t read the last singles round-up (three whole singles, a truly exhaustive search) I had a few kind words to say about his release, including a mention of none other than Morrissey, that habitually miserable Northerner with a penchant for vegetarianism and being annoying (but that’s a separate matter entirely) in what was a fairly favourable comparison. On my first listens to Christophe Marc’s single I could hear traces of that Smith’s chap popping up throughout and, unsurprisingly, I expected more of the same from the album, which wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad thing in itself given that, for all his failures as a human being, Mozza can knock out a decent tune or two so something which shares a trace element of his style could well have held some charm of its own. I am, however, glad to say that where my expectations were fair to middling, limited to a vague hope for an inoffensive album of muted, slightly downbeat Indie, I instead found myself rather more impressed by what I found.
‘The Funny Fall’ is, without doubt, an album tied to a certain tradition but it’s rather enjoyably broad in its influences. Throughout there are traces of a fair few different musical styles, not just Morrissey but hints of Robert Smith, David Bowie and a broad pantheon of downbeat Indie Pop luminaries. And yet, and this is the important bit, it still manages to emerge as an identifiably separate effort as opposed to a pure homage to its individual parts. I wouldn’t say that this was a strikingly original piece certainly but it’s not a cheap rip off either, it’s a very well made album which does what it does with what you might call the attitude of an equal, it’s not mimicking anything but standing side by side with what came before.
Beyond that little bit of gushing though ‘The Funny Fall’, beyond being a sound exemplar of it’s genre, still maintains some broader appeal. Even if you’re not normally moved to wearing black, smoking Gaulloise and reading poetry then this can still be listened to as a laid back, indulgently atmospheric piece. Like all good Pop, no matter how mixed in it is with the influences of other genres, this can play out comfortably without demanding any more attention than the listener is willing to offer and if alternatively you want to delve further into it then there’s enough depth to hold your attention.
So, well worth a download then, not revolutionary by any means but an admirable example of what it is.