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Lescop Jeremy Allen , June 3rd, 2013 11:15

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If something about Lescop sounds familiar then that's because it is. Hailed as a nouvelle icône de la cold wave, 34-year-old Mathieu Peudupin's music draws on the genre that arrived around the time of his birth. If I were a betting man I'd definitely put money on Lescop also being a fan of early Depeche Mode and The Cure, with some Joy Division on occasion too, and 80s synth duos for good measure,

Much as with Savages (on whose Pop Noire label this is released), the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It's something people seem to need reminding of again and again in 2013 - incredible new music isn't negated or irrelevant because it wears its influences proudly. It's like pointing at someone who has their mother's nose and their father's ears and noting there's nothing original about them.

Lescop's eponymous debut is teeming with life, undulating grooves, deft electronic ambience and has hefty hooks aplenty. No fat goon in a Teardrop Explodes t-shirt is going to spoil that by telling me he's heard it all before. It marches with the confidence of a man about town, a noirish beast prowling the Parisian underground scene; it's slick, seductive and stalks from club to club, and from capital city to capital city, while the rest of us sleep or do quotidian chores like working. Lescop paints a picture of himself as some elegantly wasted nightfly, although if that sounds shallow, there's plenty of existential angst and dark emotion to sink your teeth into.

Bold opener and 2012 favourite 'La Forêt' explores the moments before the protagonist is shot, and makes one think of Camus' L'Etranger with the boot on the other foot (or the gun in the other hand). On the new wavey 'La Nuit Américaine' he introduces us to Sandra, who thinks of herself as "une héroïne Hollywoodienne", a ghost with sunken cheeks who has, according to Lescop, had her back teeth ripped out (the French is more poetic: “Fantôme au dents du fond arrachées / Ses joues vers l'interieur sont creusées.”) 'Le Mal Mon Ange', featuring a sultry duet with Dorothée De Koon, gleams and preens at its own exquisite beauty; any comparisons with Gainsbourg by British journalists have been as predictable as they are lazy, though this does hint towards the delectable 'Jane B'.

'Tokyo La Nuit', written with AV (another excellent chanteur electro-pop on the Parisian scene) recounts a night in Tokyo alone bored and drinking, and includes a bright green parrot on a Geisha's shoulder (“Un perroquet vert rococo... Sur l'épaule d'une geisha”). Solitude has rarely sounded this sexy.

Lescop's brooding vocal style is best exemplified on 'Un Rêve', a bass heavy stomper that missed its opportunity to own a John Hughes soundtrack some three decades earlier. As is the case with Savages, Lescop has taken the cool music of his childhood and spun it into something wildly evocative and deliciously poetic. It may draw on the past, but it is also something new in its execution; full of vitality, candour and mystery.  

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Jun 3, 2013 5:41pm

'No fat goon in a Teardrop Explodes t-shirt is going to spoil that by telling me he's heard it all before'

hahaha easily the funniest thing i've read in a music review this year

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Marc, John's Boyfriend
Jun 3, 2013 10:59pm

Good stuff. Excellent take on something not being a worthy addition simply because it has a few bits here and there that remind other people of music from 30 years ago.

I'm going to buy this album based on this review alone.

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James Reid
Jun 6, 2013 10:22am

I have to admit that the vocals don't do much for me, but the music is terrific.

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Jun 8, 2013 5:47pm

Nice piece. Lucky enough to have seen him live in Normandy and Paris this year. A great talent, refreshingly innocent on stage, and en artist that deserves greater recognition in the anglo-saxon world. He does bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain Mr Curtis on stage.

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Salò Wolf de Staël
Oct 3, 2013 4:48am

It's far more likely that Mathieu, being from Europe, was influenced by hearing groups from closer to home such as Kas Product, Mathématiques Modernes, Snowy Red, Baroque Bordello, Téléphone, etc, rather than Depeche Mode.

The Cure circa "Seventeen Seconds"/ "Faith" definitely. Joy Division/ early New Order, certainly.

There was however a World of Electronic music outside Britain and Depeche Mode in particular were considered laughable charlatans in the early 80s, the antithesis of cool. For many of us they remain entirely bogus.

As for the comment about the "fat goon," since when did size have anything to do with taste or music? Talk about the music, please, and leave your pointless sizeism aside.

Lescop's music is stunning whatever his influences. I would recommend anyone who loves his album to check out Dernière Volonté's album, "Mon Meilleur Ennemi." You won't regret it.

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marko smith
Jul 7, 2014 1:43pm

Its really mediocre , Its yes joy division influenced but NO WHERE near as good , french pop music has never really cut through because they try to hard be to arty and it becomes pretentious ,
Im not saying its terrible but i really think French musicians sit on the wall and wait to copy instead of creating new genres,

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Jean Bartholomew
Jul 8, 2014 2:03pm

In reply to Salò Wolf de Staël:

It is not terrible but not amazing but i think Lescop needs a decent production to really shine .

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Jean Bartholomew
Jul 8, 2014 2:07pm

In reply to Salò Wolf de Staël:

Im sure Mathieu is more influenced by bands like depeche and the cure than Telephone ( I lived in france and telephone were awful)
There was a band called Indochine who were terrible as well .

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John Parsons
Jul 14, 2014 4:57pm

In reply to Jean Bartholomew:

Indochine were a really bad french bad that were successful in france , They were almost a very bad attempt to be The Cure

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Jul 15, 2014 3:46pm

Lescop needs a decent producer to shine

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Aug 25, 2014 8:37pm

Its ok but really nothing groundbreaking musically

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Sep 23, 2014 10:42am

Theres nothing new here that stands out and it just seems it needs better production …. Its not terrible but I've watched his videos and it comes across as trying to hard to be arty (PRETENTIOUS)

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Oct 2, 2014 5:00pm

I watched on youtube and although its not terrible its not groundbreaking

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Nov 17, 2014 11:36pm

Lescop needs a decent producer

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Mar 16, 2015 4:16pm

je suis français et je déteste la musique français

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Jul 31, 2015 4:45am

Nice piece.I'm going to buy this album

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