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  • Guest Collector: Neïmo

    Tue, 11 Mar 2008 13:12:07

    Guest Collector: Neïmo - French imports get the U.S. kids dancing

    Hailing from France, but singing in English, the snappy French rock outfit Neïmo mix new wave attitude with colorful splashes of electro-pop. Touring extensively throughout Europe, their risky choice to sing in English meant somewhat limited exposure in their home country, but paid off big time when they caught the ears of U.S. record execs.

    Having recently released their second album, Modern Incidental, the band toured the states to drum up support and found audiences here in tune with their danceable sound. Intrigued by their style, we pinned the guys down for our Guest Collector feature, and they clued us in to the records that helped inspire their border-crossing feel.

    David Bowie - Scary Monsters

    It's always been my favorite. I mean Aladdin Sane and Ziggy Stardust are major in his career. Still I've always felt that this one has always been underestimated. The production and the arrangements are still stunning. "Ashes To Ashes" will always be my number one Bowie song. Such an amazing atmosphere, and the idea of the sad clown and the self-reference to "Space Oddity" make it all for me.

    Lou Reed - Transformer

    Ok that's easy, I know. Most of Lou Reed's best solo tracks in one album; it almost sounds like a "Greatest Hits" album… But I have sung "Perfect Day" and "Satellite Of Love" so much with my best friends that I couldn't forget about it in my top list. And I love the burlesque brass on "Good Night Ladies." It's got great production as well. And Bowie was behind that. What else could we ask for?

    The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow

    All the romanticism of The Smiths, cheerful guitar parts from Johnny Marr and Morrissey's bittersweet lyrics can be found in this album. "This Charming Man" is still so charming and hasn't lost its grace to me and the haze of a drunken hour still touches me so much in "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now." "How Soon Is Now" has never made me watch "Charmed" (still trying to understand that), but fortunately, it's a great track with that fantastic atmosphere to it.

    Blondie - Parallel Lines

    Well, Blondie has obviously always been a major influence in the music we make—the kind of rock n' roll band you can dance to. Great cover of the Nerves' "Hanging On The Telephone." Not very different from the original, but Debbie's vocals bring so much more to it. "Heart Of Glass" still makes me wanna dance after all these years, and "One Way Or Another" is just great and full of attitude.

    Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes Et Caetera

    Parce que c'est Serge. Hey I'm French. This is not the typical Serge album, but it's perfectly arranged, and it caused such a scandal as he was covering "La Marseillaise," the French hymn, in a reggae fashion. The perfect agitator as he always knew how to be. Any album by Serge Gainsbourg is great anyway, from the '50s to late '80s.

    The Libertines - Up The Bracket

    This has the graceful energy of Peter Doherty and Carl Bârat, their complex relationship intertwined with the romanticism of their lyrics and Carl's skillful guitar leads, like "Tell The King." The final verse still echoes in my head. "Time For Heroes" is a masterpiece. So is "The Good Old Days". And all that boyish playfulness and spontaneousness in both "Vertigo" and "Death On The Stairs"… love it…

    Regina Spektor - Soviet Kitsch

    She writes like a boy. Nobody agrees with me, but she knows more of the man brain than probably most of us guys do. "Poor Little Rich Boy" or "Sailor Song" say it all. And girls rarely write about suicide, at least not the way she does in "Carbon Monoxyde"—such freshness, yet such bitterness in her lyrics. And not to mention her perfect vocal skills matched with those twisted melodies sometimes. She is brilliant. And I often listen to it when I'm down, which doesn't always help.

    The Streets - Original Pirate Material

    Mike Skinner is great. This was his debut album, and it sounds so sharp and still so cutting-edge—just fresh. And the lyrics are so true. Wish I'd written "Let's Push Things Forward." He depicts boring suburban life in Birmingham but in such a witty way in "Don't Mug Yourself," and with a perfect production...

    Björk - Post

    "Army Of Me" is fierce, powerful, mechanical and cold. I'm still in love with it. The video by Gondry was once again brilliant. "Hyperballad" is so graceful and dark at the same time, and the build-up in the arrangement is so intense. It's a masterpiece with the finest electronic arrangements that still sound fresh to me.

    Blur - Parklife

    We always sing to "Parklife" out loud, every time it plays in our local pub in Paris. With everyone trying to get Phil Daniel's cockney accent, it's such a laugh. I'm definitely more of a Blur fan than an Oasis one, and one has to admit that Damon Albarn and his band were able to define the sound of British pop for the 90's with that record. It's cheerful, cynical and so melodic. "End Of A Century" is one perfect example of that. And I won't mention "Girls And Boys," even though I eventually got sick of it years ago.

    —The ARTISTdirect staff

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