Cours Lapin - Cours Lapin - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Cours Lapin - Cours Lapin

by James Bray Rating:8 Release Date:2010-09-13

Cours Lapin have made a deeply French gem of a debut album, which is really quite odd considering the group is made up of four Danish musicians. As strange and as conceited a concept as this may seem, it actually works really well. The band's members are all obviously fervent Francophiles and in this album they've created their own fetishised, romanticised and distilled interpretation of the pantheon of traditional French music.

The album is mostly acoustic with piano, guitars, gloomy trumpets and understated drums which accompany Louise Alenius' seductive vocals. The album is smokey, sensual and melancholic - in other words, it's stereotypically French in it's allure. I bet Cours Lapin's music will be featured in sexy perfume ads in the run up to Christmas. The group's gothic sensuality is reminiscent of Portishead or even early Goldfrapp. Such a cinematic sound is understandable considering that all of the band's members have worked as film composers in Denmark.

The entire album is utterly accessible but the title track in particular is full of melodious hooks and is typical of Cours Lapin's atmospherics. This song evokes images of post-coital arguments, lovers throwing clothes from the window of a mansard roof in 1950s Paris. Overall, the album has a kind of sultry beauty and this is very evident on the third track , Blanc which is also remarkable for the Nick Drake-esque guitar-playing that accompanies Alenius' vocals.

So there is something of the brasserie, something of the brothel and something of the night about this album.The music is really very charming although, it is somewhat contrived and occasionally it does feel cartoonishly gothic; the press release even cites Tim Burton as an influence. The only problem is that Alenius' French lyrics sometimes feel a little affected or twee. For example, there's the song 'Le Son D'un Escargot' (The sound of a snail) or the lyrics from 'Cache Cache' (Hide and Seek): "J'étais seule dans la nuit/ je comptais les yeux fermés/ Cache cache dans la nuit" ( I was alone in the night/ I counted with my eyes closed/ Hide and seek in the night".) Such clichéd evocations of French sensuality can make the album seem a bit kitsch at times. However, this doesn't really detract from the listener's enjoyment of the music. A little kitschness is to be expected from an album that is as theatrical and stylised as this one. So, in a nutshell, Cours Lapin have presented us with a French affair to remember.

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