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First off, let me say that as a general rule, one should buy any recording whose cover features a skinny, shirtless French guy singing to an orange. It's just good sense. And in fact, Noah Wane and I actually had to leg wrestle to determine who would get to review this one. Luckily I was all jacked up on Dr Pepper at the time, so I won.

Anyway, back to TOOG's CD, 6633. It's charming as heck. It's also really goofy. And strange. TOOG doesn't really sing, he just sort of recites the lyrics and lets his cute little French accent do all the work for him. Speaking of lyrics (which are mostly in French), a typical verse from "Mon Pantalon Blanc" ("My White Trousers"):

    For you I want to become someone good
    Learn to avoid mud puddles while walking
    I want to try to eat properly
    And no longer soil my white trousers
    (translation from the CD booklet)

It's great stuff -- somehow really mellow, calm and reasonable, but at the same time totally wacky and deranged, in a strange, understated way. The music is light, synthy, playful. There's not a bass drum or guitar for miles, but there are plenty of tweaky little noises, bleeps and bloops, birdie twerps, all sorts of fun things. I'd call this lounge music, but I'm really not sure what planet the lounge would be on. A very stylish, playful, quirky, baffling planet, at the least. It's Planet TOOG -- Here's your ticket!

Le Grand Magistery

click for Real Audio Sound Clip
Buy it at Insound!
reviewed by irving bellemead

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