On Disc - Immaculate Machine

Album: Les uns mais pas les autres (EP)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Les uns mais pas les autres (EP) by Immaculate Machine

Immaculate Machine
Les uns mais pas les autres (EP)
Mint Records

3.5 stars

Immaculate Machine’s latest offering is a six-track, French rehash of its previous album, Ones and Zeros. Each song is a deliberate and direct translation of its English counterpart, while all instrumentals remain untouched.

In an attempt to crunch the wordier French version into the same amount of syllables, the lyrics sometimes suffer. Other times, the translated French lyrics are even better than the originals. Subtle changes were also made to maintain structure. Overall, Immaculate Machine demonstrates a comfortable, fluent command of the language.

Musically, Les uns mais pas les autres showcases the band’s consistent musical competence. The New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder shines and her vocals on “Sans Issue” (a French version of “No Way Out”) are nothing short of beautiful.

Since the band is working with familiar material, the music sounds effortless, but it isn’t without occasional shaky moments. On top of the sporadically jagged lyricism, bizarre sounds have a tendency of sneaking in.

One song ends inexplicably with what must be the “screeching banshee” setting on Brooke Gallupe’s amp, and a single out-of-place emo-scream during an otherwise relaxed song is puzzling.

Sweeping these quirks under the rug, Les uns mais pas les autres stands well on its own and can easily be enjoyed, even by those who haven’t spoken a word of French since Grade 9.

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