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Miss Kittin & the Hacker
Miss Kittin & the Hacker
The First Album
Emperor Norton


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Frank Sinatra"

Buy me now
Most musicians are appreciative when you take the time to listen to their music. Some are even overjoyed. Miss Kittin & The Hacker seem hell-bent on making you pay.

Take a Casio keyboard or any other early '80s dance machine, wheel it out and blow the dust off and you would most likely be able to produce an album at least as enjoyable as this one. I'm a big fan of bare-bones techno -- the kind that builds its foundation on a few simple rhythms before wandering off on the sampler and synthesizer trail. Miss Kittin & The Hacker got about halfway into the foundation and decided it wasn't worth finishing -- on every song. These sparse beats are accompanied by witless lyrics, tunelessly delivered and agonizingly mispronounced. Imagine Celine Dion, who has been singing in mis-enunciated English all these years, but without the vocal chops or even the dedication to sing, talking her way through her lyrics. Better yet, don't. Miss Kittin already did it for you.

Sleepwaking through more horrible verses than I could stand, neither Miss Kittin nor her deejay could be bothered to invest much time or life in the completion of this album, and I rewarded their efforts with a quick dismissal from my short-term memory. Track nine is called "Slow Track". No explanation necessary. The sole bit of enjoyability -- listenability never even rears its much-missed head here -- is the laughably shallow "Frank Sinatra", the band's insightful take on fame, which boasts the (recurring) phrase, "Motherfuckers are so nice." As usual, the accents are misplaced, even on these syllables, like a gutter-mouthed version of The Cardigans' Nina Persson tossed in a blender with the soundtrack to an Atari game.

This disc is called The First Album. As Billy Ray Cyrus once impotently claimed, it won't be the last. Let's hope the same blissful fate spares us any further analog atrocities.



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