Captive In The Height Of Summer

(OMR, 22/2/06, photo by PokeYoke )
Us Rosbif's have a love/hate relationship with the Frogs. We love their food, we love buying their rundown houses for our holiday homes, we love Thierry Henry. We hate the fact that they're French and look down their noses at everybody, despite being in no position to judge that sort of thing ourselves.

However, we are in a position to judge their music, because for the most part it's fairly embarrassing. There are a few luminaries (Serge Gainsbourg, Fran├žoise Hardy), and they do a fine line in the sort of lush electronica that kind of washes over you (M83, Air and the like) and bangin' techno, if that's your bag. But the rock, the indie-pop, all tends to be kind of lame; Phoenix, for example, do precious little for me.

However, occasionally I receive nice little packages which sit on my desk for up to months sometimes before I get around to listening to the contents, even when preceded by a friendly email. So, OmR: my apologies for the delay. Because Superheroes Crash is a nice little record, one actually improved by being from a French band. There's some very Gallic turns, the sultry female vocals, the almost baroque keyboard flourishes. There are songs that bear similarities in structure to some of Air's last record, and the subtle uses of electronica add something approaching a simultaneously icy detachment and warm embrace.

I waffle, clearly. Sorry. I'm not sure OmR are destined for huge, stadium-filling excess, but there's no reason they shouldn't gather at least a little critical and commercial acclaim - they've already had engineering work done by the German maestro behind the Notwist/Lali Puna/Ms John Soda sound, Mario Thaler, and remix work by Prefuse73 and Abstrakt Keal Agram, which is fairly good going. The Thaler touch is especially evident in the innocent but knowing vocals of I Don't Know, and although the electronics have apparently been toned down since OMR's first record, the lightness of touch in their use is again familiar from the Weilheim school that Thaler's a part of. Superheroes Crash, as well as being the title track, is pretty indicative of the record, pretty, undulating and cute - I haven't included the more electro tracks, simply because these songs are better.

The Music
OmR - I Don't Know
OmR - Superheroes Crash

The 'fo
Artist: OmR
Website: omrmusic.com, MySpace
Recommended: Superheroes Crash
Label: Uncivilised World
Buy: Amazon
More: Hype Machine; elbo.ws, Mars Needs Guitars
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