Music Kills Me (V2)

After all the critical accolades and underground hype that this French duo picked up with their first album, Installation Sonore, they must figure they're in line to become the next Daft Punk. We'll admit to thinking that Installation -- a record that tossed some jangly, fin-like riffs of guitar amid a stream of gleeful French house -- was a novel concept, showing promise and even a bit of originality. But honestly, we were expecting a little more from Music Kills Me.

The album starts out with a thud, as "Le Rock Summer" swaggers in like some crappy Daft Punk "disco rules" remix of Republica's "Ready to Go." Next up, on the title track, Rino own up to being big Moby fans, leaving listeners to deal with their pepped-up emulation of Moby's overrated Delta-blues electro-experimentation. Can you tell we're enjoying this?

Thankfully, things fall into a smoother groove as the album progresses. On the better efforts, like "Dead Flowers" and "No We Are Not Experienced!", Music brings to mind Rinocerose's V2 labelmate Ian Pooley. The bevy of chimes, cowbells and assorted hand percussion, along with some looser, more relaxed guitar and bass parts, creates a breezy, funky Caribbean vibe. If the industry had any mercy, one of these tracks would end up as the lead single. But instead, we'll probably have to settle for hearing "Le Rock Summer" mixes in the clubs all spring and summer long. Let's hear it for staying in more often.

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