Various Artists “Des Jeunes Gens Modernes”

Billing itself as “post punk, cold wave” from 1978 through 1983, this two-disc compilation sounds exactly as you would expect it to: lots of Devo-inspired music that my uncle would really like. Let’s hear it for Generation X. The twist is that it’s all French. Perspective Nevski are first with “Moment of Hate.” There are some Depeche Mode hints in this one. Mecanique Rythmique accentuates the keyboard a little too shrilly on “Extase.” I really like Guerre Froide’s “Ersatz.” It reminds me of Human League. Artefact is clearly singing in English in “Sex Computer.” It sounds like Kraftwerk. The synths are also very fun on this one. Suicide Romance is a little more power pop than the others with “Modern Romance.”
Lizzy Mercier Descioux reminds me of the Buggles on “Torso Corso.” Lots of reminding on this one, but that’s what happens when you release a bunch of music 30 years later. Medikao stands on its/his own with “Detective.” Seeing these song titles reminds me of playing Mille Bornes. The words are in French, but you can vaguely understand what they mean. If you’re into the novelty of people that can’t speak English singing in English, go for Henriette Coulouvrat’s “Can’t You Take a Joke?” I prefer it when the Japanese do this, myself.
“Exposition” is an OK song, but I mention it because it is by Charles de Goal. That’s the best name ever. Les Provisoires reminds me of P.I.L. on “So Much More.” When you think of the great synth comeback of the middle part of the last decade, you can see where it came from when you hear “Main dans la main” by Elli & Jacno. In general the better songs are at the beginning of each of the two CDs.
I’m a big fan of Norma Loy’s “Romance.” A lot of these bands use “modern” and “romance” in their names and titles, but I guess that’s just a symptom of rock ‘n’ roll at large.
At the end of the second CD are a bunch of remixes, and they indeed have a newer sound to them. Poni Hoax does a cover of Marquis de Sade’s “Wanda’s Loving Boy,” which reminds me of Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
All in all, a bunch of new wave from the disco era. It’s a lot of fun! It’s also in French, mostly.

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