And the award for the weirdest album of the year goes to…..We Humans by French For Cartridge!
You may think I jest, but I most certainly do not. Idiosyncratic does not do it justice.
Opening track We Humans starts of with discordant robotic voices that sound very much like the car maker Audi had some kind of say in the making of the track. The strings add a sinister feel, and the subject matter – virtual reality to remedy, and improve, the human condition – is perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in modern medicine; the use of science to make humans “better”.
From the daunting to the upbeat; We Humans jumps to Next Addict, which on the surface is a jaunty, light and fluffy effort with a lovely banjo riff at the end of the chorus. However, the gloom is still there. Why would anyone be happy to be the next addict? The theme of the human condition has not disappeared.
Spiders follows on. The piano and scratchy guitar makes this the strangest opening salvo from an album I’ve heard in a long, long time.
I do like the album, but it is quite hard to follow at some points. For example, Boxes is a lovely track with tubular bells making it a shiny song. Catherine Hentz and Henri Vaxby combine their vocals to great effect halfway through, and are accompanied by a strangely entrancing military drumbeat. Then it’s followed by The Puddle, which is just mad.
I can understand the need and want to create something that is unique, that is not a rehash of what has been before. But it’s as if in the process of trying to push boundaries to the limits, they have in fact been exceeded.
We Humans by French For Cartridge was released in July.