CD, case and artwork are perfect...........TRACK LISTING:--- 1. Accouples--2. La Poupee Barbu--3. En Amour---4. Pour Un Flirt Avec Moi--5. Le Collectionneur---6. L'hospice--7. Je Prete A Confusion--8. Elisa Pretend--9. Nos Amis Les Riches--10. Les Mondains---11. L'an Passe--12. La Dame Au Youki13. La Ballde Du Ballon Rond--14. La Berceuse De Kiki--15. Un Couple Salado ..................A clever and intriguing debut album by a Belgian singer who's sort of a cross-breed of Elvis Presley and Georges Brassens. Originally released in France in 1996, this album features a variety of song styles wrapped around political topics and some social commentary. The album gets off to a thunderous start with a "Subterrean Homesick Blues"-variant set to a pulsing rai beat - "Accouples" - which is by far the best track on the album (as Marka appears to acknowledge by having it also close the album under a different name). The rest of the album demonstrates Marka's affinity for folk ("Les Mondains" - with a bizzare brass band accompainment), pop ("Pour un flirt avec moi"), and country ("Elisa Pretend") as well as variations on these styles ("Je prete a confusion" - sort of rock, sort of not). There's oddities aplenty here too - "Le collectioneur" (about a junk collector), "La Dame au Youki" (a jaunty little sing-along about loneliness), and "Nos Amis Les Riches" (de rigeur anti-capitalism). What's remarkable is that Marka fashions a distinct, unifying work out of this potpourri but overall the album a little mannered - he wears his styles and his attitudes like his suits: flashy. I didn't see much conviction underneath all the cleverness and his pretenses to social and political awareness come off as shallow ("Accouples" comes off as some big political statement that really says nothing). Still, much of this is undeniably well-constructed pop music and Marka demonstrates that he could be a contender. Maybe not Dylan but certainly an improvement over Johnny Halliday....
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