The Entertainment eZine - Music Review
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Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down
Review by Charles Moffat
Risqué is the musical duo of French and Welsh wife and husband pairing Nathalie and Huw Williams, who apparently are a bit obsessed with BDSM and paying a homage to Miss Kittin and the Hacker in their new album 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down'. Electroclash anyone?
Even if you don't know who or what those things are it doesn't really matter. Much of their new record feels like a homage and I find that I didn't really listen to the lyrics so much because the music tended to overwhelm and drown out the lyrics.
Musically Nathalie Williams has captured Kittin's ability to soothe and delight the listener, but the background guitar music comes off both half-cocked and strained. If she had a better guitarist, and had put more thought into synching the music with the lyrics I think this album could have been much more enjoyable to listen to.
The album 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' also does several cover songs: Venus in Furs (The Velvet Underground) and Psycho Killer (Talking Heads). They're not bad renditions, but they're not spectacular either.
The record isn't bad however. I give it three, maybe four stars if you are into Euro Pop. I just think it could be better if they went back, got a better guitarist and reworked the music so you can hear the lyrics more clearly.
I also think as a band they're being held back by rank amateurs when it comes to promotion. Their label 'Some Bizarre Records' and promotion group 'Rood Media' are both operating their websites out of cheap bargain basement websites with (and this is my professional opinion as an experienced website designer) the kind of website design that a 11 year old would do. There's also a lot of reliance on MySpace. It hardly inspires confidence in their ability to promote. It also might explain why the record isn't as good as it could be. They need professional criticism and input.
As electro-pop goes 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' / Risqué seems to be want to be the bad boy, the vixen, the fem dominatrix... but I swear to god I thought it sounded a bit like background music to a XXX film. Maybe that was deliberate? It definitely has a kitsch/tongue-in-cheek feel to it.
What I would like, and I hope Nathalie will forgive me for saying this, is heavier deeper sounding music. More bass guitar. Maybe some cello, which has a really rich deep tone (see Jorane). That would contrast better with the lyrics. A little bit of gothic or heavy metal music would add more to the feeling of risqué too, because frankly electro-pop just isn't very risqué. Its too flowery.
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