DIMITRI FROM PARIS Sacre Bleu (East West)
Ho ho ho. Insert tongue firmly in cheek (no, your own) and put on your irony caps, because what we have here is an album of michael-taking easy listening music composed and directed by the self-styled Monsieur Dimitri. Sleeved in an immaculate parody of RCAs Living Stereo series of demonstration records, and promising "astonishing "esquisses" of the Parisian life" and "Spectra-Q-Lar electrosonics", "Sacre Bleu" is actually quite amusing for a while.
There are enough humorous interludes to keep you in comedy answerphone messages for months, and the ring-a-ding-ding likes of "Sacre Francais" are entertaining in a kind of Mike & Rich meets Daft Punks Grandads kind of way. Theres a cover of "Nothing To Lose" from the Peter Sellers film "The Party", such by the breathy-voiced Mademoiselle Atlantique (possibly not her real name?), and the funk frenzy of "Dirty Larry" (ha ha ha), the theme from the forthcoming TV series "Inspector Sacrebleu" (er, possibly not a real forthcoming TV series?). But like most grand fromages this one cannot be said to not go off a bit, and the prospect of another hours worth of stylophone-fuelled easy listening irony might have you contemplating writing deeply heartfelt letters to the French Embassy, especially if youre still around for the garlic-breathed Bacharach of "Un Very Stylish Fille" and the entirely-without-merit "Le Moggy Reggae".
Ultimately, satirising this loungecore lark has to be the easiest game in town, since the source material is so hammed up anyway - listen to Burt Bs lift-muzak-from-hell versions of his own (terrific) tunes - which is why albums like "Sacre Bleu" (and, I suppose to a lesser extent, Mike & Richs "Expert Knob Twiddlers" and Jimi Tenors "Intervision", although theyre by no means as contrived as the work under discussion) are treading on very thin ice unless theyre done well. Although "Sacre Bleu" is clearly the result of much (painful) research, when the joke wears thin youre in trouble if the joke is all youve got.