born at the beginning of the eighties. Listening to Donít Kill,
his first album, one could be led to think that he actually spent his formative
years as he seventies session musician. It comes as no surprise then to
find this young Air protégé on Source.
With a handful of singles, Rob has already caused quite a stir in his native
France, with his unthinkable mix of ultra-sweet pop melodies, disturbing
once again the musical consensus already seriously shaken by Phoenix and
over the recent months.
Donít Kill doesnít
display any of the now typical signs of the ĎFrench Touchí disco revival
sound. Rob doesnít play with filters or vocoders. Instead, he wraps up
his dithered melodies in guitars, real drums, trumpets and strings. Fed
with strips of Bowie, Eno, Rundgren and insignificant French pop, Donít
Kill explores the outer limits of pop, following in the footsteps of
There are undeniable similarities between this album and the duoís 10,000
Hz Legend. However, Robís incredible sense for melodies and sweeping
arrangements give Donít Kill an unmistakable and unique identity.
If the enlightened power pop gem that is Power Glove, with the bitter-sweet
vocals by Astrale, or the Pink Floyd-esque Running For The Gold,
sung by the man himself, are beautifully crafted songs, it is with instrumentals
that Rob reaches the most distinctive aspects of his music. The title track,
an anachronic John-Barry-meets-Ceronne moment, or the richly embodied XX
are the best example of this. As XX slowly builds up, the recurring
melody brings elements into the spectrum one after the other, to a magnificent
coda. Donít Kill is a more straightforward affair altogether, assembled
around a tight groove driven by guitars and strings. The moments of calm
are equally as impressive, with the short and angelic Chanson Pour Mes
Enfants, or Donít Kill Me, which closes the album, being amongst
the highlights here.
Donít Kill is one
of these rare records that strikes an unsuspected chord in our psyche,
and becomes instantly recognisable. It is modern in an old fashioned way,
tastefully tacky and cheesy, and ultimately indispensable. One of the most
exiting records of the year.