CHARLES DE GOAL (Buy CDs by this artist)
Algorhythmes (Fr. New Rose) 1981
Ici l'Ombre (Fr. New Rose) 1982
3 (Fr. New Rose) 1984
Double Face (Fr. New Rose) 1986
Stylish but awkward, this French artist is at his best on weird, moody synthesizer workouts those songs that rely on choppy guitar and weak singing aren't as effective. A version of Bowie's "Hang on to Yourself" (on Algorhythmes) is skittish and tense, but not especially different from the original; its inclusion seems purposeless.
Ici l'Ombre has very little in the way of electronics; most of the tracks use only electric guitar, bass and drums. Among the haphazard collection of styles played poorly here: garden-variety punk ("Atout Mineur"), glum solemnity ("Rouge sur Blanc"), acoustic piano ("Face/Coma"), gothy noise ("Self Control") and squiggly synth-pop ("Kling Klang"). Hopeless.
Charles gets his cabinet properly organized on 3, but the well-produced and reasonably focused mixture of guitars, synthesizers and Linndrum still isn't very entertaining. Dramatic singing doesn't improve the weak material; while the cute melodic rock ("Hop Hop Hop Hop," "Technicolor") and a clumsy English cover of Wire's "A Question of Degree" are amusing enough, the barren dance experiments that otherwise fill the album are fairly dismal.[Ira Robbins]
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