Ripping Off the Masters: Everyone Was In The French Resistance…Now!
Everyone Was In The French Resistance…Now!
Fixin’ The Charts (Volume 1)
Everyone Was In The French Resistance…Now! is the new project from Art Brut vocalist Eddie Argos and his girlfriend, Dyan Valdes of L.A.’s the Blood Arm.
Argos is known for his dry sense of humor and highly personal and sexually implicit lyrics. He irreverently sings about his family and ex-girlfriends, apparently hoping none of them are listening. Most of the lyrics, he says, are written on his phone while walking or when drunk. When he sings them he belts them out, making more of a speech than singing a song.
All that comes heavily across in Fixin’ The Charts (Volume 1), the first release from Everyone Was In The French Resistance…Now!
The disclaimer you need when listening to Fixin’ The Charts (Volume 1) is that all the songs, they all are written about other songs. That’s right. Argos is attempting to critique pop hits with his own music. Each song is a response to a hit song he takes some issue with. For instance, ‘Think Twice (It’s Not Alright)’ is a response to Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.’ ‘Billie’s Genes’ is about the obvious Michael Jackson song. And “Coal Digger” is shooting back at Kayne West’s “Gold Digger.”
It is a gimmick for sure, but it’s not that the gimmick isn’t amusing nor that the songs aren’t original. The parallel world Argos conjures up might even be called sensitive and insightful. Sometimes. If you’re a connoisseur of pop culture and sarcasm you’ll be able to get through the album’s twelve tracks. Probably you’ll laugh a lot and maybe even feel a little enlightened.
If you aren’t familiar with current pop music and don’t appreciate sarcasm, you might still be mildly amused, but only for a few tracks. The problem is, despite being occasionally clever, Argos is mostly just taking some cheap shots at great songs he never matched with Art Brut. He certainly doesn’t with Everyone Was In The French Resistance…Now!
‘G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N,’ a response to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” is possibly the only song that really fit’s within Argos basic premise – that pop music needs fixing. Not because the song is a masterpiece, but because it would be hard to find anyone who faults Argos for deriding Lavigne. Claimed by Argos to be the song that got him interested in writing responses to hits, he responds to ‘Girlfriend’ by taking on the voice of the boy Lavigne is stalking. And telling her to fuck off.
The video for this song involves Argos and Valdes sitting at table with tarot cards, making clear their relationship. “I’m very in love with someone else/ We’ve got concerns about your mental health”, Argos sings. It’s kinda cute. For about twenty seconds. Is Argos making music or teaching values? No one is taking him seriously, meanwhile he’s not even as funny as Weird Al Yankovic.
A clever idea-with some seriously catchy music-Everyone Was In The French Resistance…Now! does not have the lyrics or vocals to be funny enough to work. Eddie Argos likes to tell it how it is, but his own foibles are far better than adding another angle on someone else’s. – (4/10)