Francois & The Atlas Mountains - Solid Mirage

by Jason Atkinson Rating:7 Release Date:2017-03-03

Solid Mirage, the new offering from Francois & The Atlas Mountains, starts strong with 'Grand Dérèglement.' The track is worldly, and it burrows in your ear, sonically celebrating diversity and inclusion in modern Europe. Forget the fact that the 'Grand Dérèglement' video is a film of dudes with good hair dancing around marble statues; this is truly a fantastic song. This excellence continues with 'Tendre Est lÂme', solid vocals and low-key 1980's production. Particular praise for Francois Marry's poignant falsetto here. Also, the backup female voice--reminds me a bit of Stereolab's Mary Hansen. The lighter lead vocal work is served well by the backup vocal. 

'Apocalypse à Ipsos' brings in a bit of an afro-beat on lead guitar which reminds me of the Little Comets track 'A Little Opus'. Again, simple, low-key production. This mellow spirit continues on the track '1982'. The tracks '100 000 000' and 'Âpres Après' take some more experimental turns that remind me a little bit of Stereolab. 'Bête Morcelée,' meanwhile, completely breaks from all of that with heavy layered electric guitars in a more traditional rock format. I imagine this tune works well live, but I don't understand what this track is doing on the disc. 

'Jamais Deux Pareils' and 'Perpétuel Été' recall the opening track and the tune 'Rentes Écloses' finishes things up on a quiet note. This last track shows off Marry's vocal range a bit and once again brings in the background voice, which I love. Is that a saxophone in there, too? Yes, I believe so. But only one note repeated every once and awhile. The whole thing wraps up with swirls of guitars. 

I wouldn't say Solid Mirage is a solid album and I also wouldn't say it is a mirage of an album. It's a, um, solid mirage of an album. A nice mix of songs and an excellent set of tracks. Stream them for a while. 

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars