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  • Chrominance Decoder
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Chrominance Decoder

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 2, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Using faux French '60s lounge pop as the starting point for her sonic discourse, Elinor Blake, a.k.a. April March, displays plenty of musical savvy and the rare ability to come up with a good hook. As April March, she uses her kittenish voice in the style of Parisian chanteuses like Françoise Hardy. French producer Bertrand Burgalat lends a spare, sophisticated musicality to the record, arranging delicate layers of electronics and horns around March's slick studio ensemble. With heady instrumental interludes, fragile acoustic ballads, and Stereolab-style rock flourishes, March seems to be a substantial musical enterprise as well as an interesting alter ego for the talented Blake. A warning, though: she sings pure pop in French, and the whole vibe here is extremely precious. --Mitch Myers

Review

Preciousness is a virtue to this former Ren & Stimpy Show animator ... who dresses up as a '60s French chanteuse and coos through a modish set of Mancini-style pop tunes. -- Entertainment Weekly

1. Garden Of April
2. Sugar
3. Knee Socks
4. Charlatan
5. Mignonette
6. Chrominance Decoder
7. Garcon Glacon
8. Mickey Et Chantal
9. Pas Pareil
10. Mon Petit Ami
11. Mon Petit Cowboy
12. Martine
13. Ideal Standard
14. Keep In Touch
15. Superbagneres
16. Nothing New (English)
17. Nothing New (Remix)
18. Sugar (Remix)
19. No Parachute

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 2, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mammoth Records / Tricatel / Ideal Records
  • ASIN: B00000HZPT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,989 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adam Carroll on January 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One listen to the opening track, `Garden of April', sets the tone for the rest of the album. Simple piano melodies, a friendly, not at all serious background beat, and of course April March's voice singing gaily away - this IS a pop record, as the essay in the liner notes confirms. Mostly the layout works well - through the 19 track on Chrominance Decoder, not once does March (real name: Elinor Blake) wax poetic. The lyrics are straightforward and the music is pretty, with a few vague stabs at seriousness here and there (the title track, which comments on the consequences of fame, and the song about assault, `Sugar', come to mind). There are some places where this doesn't work so well - April sings in both English and French, and some of the French songs are a little too sweet. Additionally, some tracks are basically repeated, only with lyrics in the opposite language - the music is exactly the same in both. Regardless, though, if you just want something sweet without all those pesky implications and themes, Chrominance Decoder is for you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Noyes on March 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
A leap forward from her earlier work, April March's Serge Gainsbourg obsession has produced a pop classic. Songs are in French and English, and, in english at least, buzz with a snide poetry. Mme March's cool and sexy vocals go perfectly with the laid-back but infectious music. Fans of Air,Classic French Pop, early Blondie, and Japanese club pop will enjoy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Upright on October 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've tried to figure out what it is that draws me to the music of this petite chanteuse, and I think perhaps that it is the stirring of childhood memories: of a world ruled by reruns of ancient cartoons, of squirming in the back seat of the car, listening to the light pop vocal hits of the mid-60's. Only now, the songs are in French as well as English, and include two pieces reminiscent of the scratchy lilt of cartoon music. All of this comes together to engender a feeling of sly sentimentality that comforts my black soul, and leaves me dwelling in my own little Paris of the Mind. April March (A.K.A. Elinor Blake) lays on the spells with such songs as Charlatan and Garcon Glacon, which charm me with their - well, with their Frenchness, while her clear, soft, and intimate vocals set my hormones to trembling. The lush orchestration on Mignonette/No Parachute verges on a kind of transcendent distortion, as Herb Alpert-like horns hone in to keep the pace. Keep in Touch, one of many tracks written by producer Bertrand Burgalat, creates a sense of drifting around, alternately approaching and then retreating from the singer. The singsong approach of Mon Petit Ami makes me think of a chorus of fiercely loyal French school children belting out a personal anthem.
Her affection for the medium of animation comes through clearly in Garden of April, a happy, peppy composition that conjures up images of a chorus of singing flowers swaying in the sun, and Mon Petite Cowboy, a bouncy, fluffy instrumental retake of the Mon Petit Ami theme that inspires visuals of an animated cowboy riding the range on a lopsided horse. These two tracks bring to mind the manic musical explorations of Raymond Scott, the deeply strange and innovative composer who inadvertently scored the soundtrack to our childhood.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Giddy, teasing fun for those of us who've got to have our cotton candy now and then. Somehow manages to sound both new and nostlagic, like an old disk your folks had stashed in the attic as a memento of their swinging youth. Granted, the recent resurgence of French pop could become too much of a good thing at any moment--but why grouse when it's done this well? Relax and enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Hodge on September 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
April March( Elinor Blake) has made many of my nights and days zoom by with ease and satisfaction. Countless quarters have been popped into the juke box at my favorite pub listening to this record while sipping martinis and mixers. Elinor is the true incarnation of an enlightened Renaissance woman. She has been a part of many fabulous music projects other than April March such as The Sh*tbirds and April March and the Makers. She also paints and was an animatuer on the cult classic Ren & Stimpy Show. So it is no wonder that she was able to put together a record which such great diversity while retaining an overall mood that engulfs the listen to focus on every last sound. A combination that not many artists can pull off. The Songs range from fragile pop songs to catchy, flashy tunes, some even with trance like beats. Plus some are sung in French and others in English,an approach which I find truly delightful. I remember studying my French vocabulary words while this album was playing in the background and I swear it helped me pass a few tests. Any lover of music that desires to hear something new or any one that wishes to hear what pastel colors sound like must pick up this record. It is sure to bring a flutter to your heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If you're the kind of person that thinks movies like 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' and 'The Young Girls of Rochefort' should win retroactive Oscars, or if you just like Serge Gainsbourg, Stereolab, and Ren and Stimpy, you should pick this up.
Ms. March is truly sublime, sort of a cross between Jane Birkin and your older sister's best friend you always had a crush on. The tunes are well-balanced between cutesy stuff and quasi-melancholic pop.
Besides, how can you go wrong with a demeanor like April? Or liner notes that compare the lead single "Sugar" to a scene out of 'Suspiria'? As rem once said, "A MUST!!!!!"
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