The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


You might remember that the top album in our Best French Music of 2008 list was 'Don Lee Doo' by Kim.

Kim live at the Maison Aquitaine in Paris, 21 October 2009Well, the Bordeaux electro-popper has just released the follow-up - his 18th long-player in only 15 years and he's still a young man. Fortunately, in the case of Kim Stanislas Giani, quality is quantity: 'Mary Lee Doo' is another cracker. (It even has its own charming little video trailer.)

You may have guessed from the title that this new record shares a theme with its predecessor - apparently it's the second part of a trilogy. And there's certainly some continuity in sound; Giani clearly still loves classic Prince and Kate Bush and, says you, what more recommendation could you want?

 Well, there's even more reason to check out the new Kim album. 'Mary Lee Doo' isn't just a tribute to '80s electro-pop - there's a more romantic and wistful feeling created with non-electronic instruments like bass and acoustic guitar. 'Solid Rock' has a breezy '60s feel and the excellent 'Solenn' shares the driving '70s groove of Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours'.

And it's not all retro influences: 'Never Come Back 2 U' may have a Prince-ly title but it sounds more like contemporary U.S. R n' B, as does album closer 'Move On'.

Kim recently played a special show at the Aquitaine tourism and cultural centre in Paris. (Bordeaux is in the Aquitaine region, you see.) Starting off behind a table of small vintage keyboards and electronic devices (including one that seemed to be just a random array of grey plastic buttons), he then moved onto acoustic guitar (above right) and eventually even shunned the microphone. Point being: his songs work without electricity, which is handy in the storm-battered south-west of France. But then he hopped over to the retro synths again for the smashing 'Radio Grady'.

You can check out Kim's tunes, past and present, at his MySpace page or website. No video for any of the 'Mary Lee Doo' tracks yet, so here's something off 'Don Lee Doo' to give you a flavour of Kim - 'When The River Turns Around':

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.