Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Calogero – Je Joue de la Musique

#3 in French iTunes at time of consideration, #1 in French DISCO INFERNO…


Cassy Gress: I primarily associate Calogero with “C’est dit,” which is the Frenchiest cigarette in gray-scale puddle single this American has ever heard. So when “Je joue de la musique” started up, and it sounded like someone’s dad dancing to a Dreamworks-movie ripoff of “Get Lucky” at a wedding reception, it was befuddling. But then the strings rolled in for the chorus and ah, le voilá. Too bad the whole thing is more Barry Manilow than Alain Delon.

Thomas Inskeep: Very 2013 Phoenix/Foster the People, only in French.

Alfred Soto: He plays music! He respects music! He breathes music! He pops his bass! 

Edward Okulicz: I was super into Calogero’s duet with Passi, “Face à la mer,” when it came out 12 or so years ago with its imposing bass — albeit “imposing” like an awkward dinner guest, and painfully earnest chorus. This one still has a bass-led track, showing Calogero knows a decent groove, and parts of it remind me of the exciting bits of “A Fifth of Beethoven.” It’s mildly diverting and dad-friendly disco, but slightly damaged by the fact that it builds to an awkward climax in the final chorus and then potters along with an instrumental outro.

Katherine St Asaph: Executes its disco moves with a muscle and a gusto not seen since that Steps single; if only the vocals were executed with a gusto beyond “recently ex-boybander.”

Tim de Reuse: The sheer concentration of pep is definitely charming, but, ugh, it’s waist-deep in repetitive celebration of its own deliberately harmless subject matter. After all, what could be more innocent and insubstantial than music about liking music? Behind those expensive-sounding strings lie fully-formed thoughts and personality — I’m fond of the line “Et quand je panique / Je branche ma guitare électrique,” perhaps because it hits a little close to home. It’s enough to sneak out from under the crushing, cutesy weight of it all, but only barely.

Scott Mildenhall: Sensation courses through disco like blood through veins to a degree that almost encourages it to be accompanied by such bare metaphor and at times even less detail. The tradition of luxurious oneness is rich, and it would seem Calogero feels why. This is less lithe than the lushest, carrying the air of an indie interloper, but it sounds like his heart is in the right place.

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