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July 16, 2007 | by  | in Music |
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Malajube – Trompe-I’Oeil

I’m a sucker for sweet pop melodies, French accents and good time indie rock. So, how lucky I was to receive Malajube’s latest offering Trompe-l’Oeil, which embodies this cheery combination and so much more. The multi award winning Malajube hail from the French speaking region of Quebec in Canada, and have been making big waves in Montreal since their inception. In October last year they spilled into the USA, and just now have finally washed up onto the shores of New Zealand, where they are getting much deserved attention from C4 and B-net stations.

This, their second album, is a cluttered mash up of sounds and styles, which means there’s something new to discover at each listen. While it is the pop hooks that feature most prominent throughout, drawing similarities to the more freewheeling parts of Abbey Road, the intensity of Animal Collective, and at times the weirdness of The Flaming Lips’, Trompe-l’Oeil, perhaps over-ambitiously also goes off on disco, post-punk, glam rock, hip hop and even ragtime tangents, such as on ‘Ton Plat Favori.’

As all the tracks are sung in French, I’m at a loss as to what Malajube are singing about, yet their consistently manically intense, passionate mash-up of styles translates into any language. From the first track ‘Jus De Canneberges’ to the closing 12th track ‘La Fin’, Malajube sound as if they are having the time of their lives recording this.

The second track and single ‘Montreal -40 C’ is a full of foot stomping, urgently quirky madness, sounding miles away from the 8th track, ‘Fille A Plumes’ while employing post-punk sensibilities complete with distorted vocals and random tweaks and beeps. To further prove they can’t be pigeonholed as mere guitar based indie, midway through the album features Malajube’s most ambitious track ‘La Russe’, where, like on fellow Montréal band The Islands Return to the Sea, Malajube go for an ( albeit cheesy) hip-hop flavour, where Julien Mineau rapped vocals take dominance over the spilling piano line and electronic beats.

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