Everybody Was In The French Resistance …Now
Fixin’ the Charts, Volume 1
Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos has been skirting the edge of joke-rock since Bang Bang Rock & Roll. His saving grace — the trait that’s taken him from potential novelty to heir apparent of Jonathan Richman — is his sincerity. No matter how well-worked the turn of phrase or how arch the delivery, Argos’s self-deprecation and unadulterated enthusiasm overcome any accusations of ironic posturing.
With Everybody Was in the French Resistance …Now!, the singer has given his critics plenty of ammunition, from the doozy of a band name to the too-clever-by-half concept. A collection of responses to pop songs past and present, Fixin’ the Charts Volume 1 sees Argos and co-conspirator Dyan Valdes (The Blood Arm) call out Avril Lavigne for boyfriend-stealing, Bob Dylan for not thinking twice and Michael Jackson for denying his role in forming Billie’s genes, among others.
Argos remains one of the funniest lyricists going, but the narrative distance doesn’t do his sing-speak delivery any favours. Nor does Valdes’s musical backing, a keyboard-heavy blend that nods to the originals without directly referencing them, but still comes across like a lounge act. For the first time, Argos has put the joke before the rock.
(originally at ffwdweekly.com)