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Fixation Orale

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 18, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Aeronaut Records
  • ASIN: B00022LJMO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,212 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jose Hernandez on December 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Les Sans Cullotes-or "those without underpants"-could easily be confused for a Parisian band from the 1960s. Their use of harmonized vocals, three-chord guitar riffs, quirky synthesizers, and thumping backbeats on Fixation Orale demonstrates serious comprehension of French ye-ye pop. The fact that the band hails from Brooklyn, NY and that only one of its seven members has French lineage can be surprising to a first-time listener.

Fixation Orale is a fascinatingly likable pop album. The music transports the listener to the quiet St. Denis streets or to the boisterous and smoky Cannes clubs of the care-free and somewhat innocent mid-1960s. The tracks have the bite of a Southern California garage band ("Allô, Allô"), the debonair subtleness of Edith Piaf ("Tout va Bien"), and the humor of that old roommate of yours who went to art school ("Téléphone Douche").

That humor is permeated throughout the record and it's one of the staples of the Cullotes' live shows. Fixation Orale has 10 tracks sung in French, one in English, and one in Esperanto. Most of the pieces make no sense in any language, for example "La souris noire mangé le fromage blanc, le gros chat mangé la petite souris, le méchant garçon chasse le vilain chat, la belle maman fessé le garçon stupide" (or "the black mouse eats the white cheese, the fat cat eats the little mouse, the mean boy chases the evil cat, the good mother spanks the stupid boy"), from the first single "Allô, Allô," which mostly talks about a couple's admiration for each other. The album is peppered with such little nuggets of bad syntax.

In French lore, a "sans cullote" is a Revolution-era soldier whose poor dress is no suggestion of his bravery. Indeed, these go-go boots-clad art school dropouts put on a bold show in Fixation Orale.
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Format: Audio CD
If the Bay City Rollers had been French instead of Scottish, and fell into the thrall of some dadaist garage rock scene run by Esperanto cultists... Well, they might have sounded a bit like this gleefully tounge-in-cheek "French" rock band from Los Angeles, who giddily skip from rock genre to rock genre as easily and breezily as they slide between languages. Cracking jokes in pidgin French, broken English, and whatever random syllables seem to be laying around at hand, these folks make no sense, but they sure have fun. The crunchier guitar riffs may be a little hard-rocking for your average frog-pop fans, but folks who liked April March's collaborations with The Makers may find kindred spirits here. I haven't seen them live, but I imagine they are a lot of fun.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my perfect summer album. Lovable "french" pop that is incredibly energetic.
I find myself dancing uncontrollably without even realizing it. All cynicism melts away and now you're ready to go out with a smile.
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By MT on August 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great, fun, cheeky, silly band--from Brooklyn, not LA. They met at the Rhode Island School of Design. I've heard many comparisons to the B-52's and that fits, except that when the one French member of the band, Celine Dijon, sings she takes us beyond a 60's French pop reenactment band into, can I say it, greatness. Just listen to the beautiful "Tout Va Bien." Sublime sunny pop. When Clermont Ferrand sings, well let's face it he can't really sing, but it's still campy fun.
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