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EDITH NYLON (Buy CDs by this artist)
Edith Nylon (Fr. CBS) 1979
Quatre Essaies Philosophique EP (Fr. CBS) 1980
Johnny Johnny (Fr. CBS) 1981
Echo, Bravo (Fr. Chiswick) 1982

This French band went from a singleminded obsession with machines and bio-robotics on their first album, in a style toning down Gary Numanisms to suit a somewhat high-tech Blondiesque approach, to an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mélange on Echo, Bravo (an LP plus a 12-inch EP), incorporating all sorts of English and American influences along the way. As with Blondie, the name refers not to the female lead singer (MylŠne Khaski) but the group itself; also like Blondie, the lineup expanded (from a quintet to a keyboards-plus-two-guitars sextet) while the founder members retained control of production as well as songwriting.

There's plenty of zip and charm to the CBS recordings. (Echo, Bravo is the most entertaining.) Khaski's French lyrics display moderate intelligence, and they're complemented by lighter-hearted humor as well as a mix-and-match stylistic grab-bag blending dance rock, '60s pop and bits that call to mind everyone from the Pretenders to Adam and the Ants. Sure, it's a stew, but more often than not they come out sounding like nobody so much as themselves, and that on some pretty fair numbers. A smart producer could have worked wonders with 'em.

[Jim Green]