Friday, February 22, 2008

who needs english? - yelle

it's not every day that i get scooped by the new york times. we both got to foals, but i was totally left in the dust about yelle, france's newest and coolest export. urbaneye gave us the heads-up about the smart-mouthed star in advance of her show on tuesday, her first on american soil, but too late for me. however, the "more than sold out" show seemed by be a writhing success, with as much pompadour as pomp for the wildly enthusiastic crowd.

if there is such a thing as a continental pop niche in the united states, yelle is definitely poised to dominate it. forget the fact that her debut album pop up has no stateside distribution. forget the fact that there are only one or two tracks on the hype machine or a myspace phenom who has been steadily garnering acclaim for two full years, 2008 will be the year yelle takes over over here... maybe. sure, yelle's shows sell out across france and her hip-thrusting houseclash beats (produced by grandmarnier) are well-suited for her trash talk - at least i think they are, because i really don't know.

unlike previous who needs english? artists, yelle falls flat for the monolingual listener. it's no surprise that yelle has been invited to perform on lily allen's bbc show, since they play pretty much the same music. who would be a better fit on lily's show than a trash-talking strong woman made popular by myspace? don't get me wrong, i love lily, but i can't imagine enjoying "not big" if i couldn't understand what it was about, and that's my only hangup with pop up. yelle's english language version of her home page is imperfectly translated, though it's easy to get the gist of it: yelle sings dirty songs about boys, dildos, and the small penis of cuiziner, a member of parisian crew ttc. i'm sure her songs are funny, but this is one of the times when i can't overcome the language barrier. what good are dirty jokes if you don't know when to laugh?

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