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Prototypes “Prototypes” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Much of my first experience listening to Paris’ Prototypes lead me to believe that there was a serious connection between the band and general ’80s influences. A far broader base of pop culture influence, not simply musical—the band has seemingly jumped head first into the decade. The album’s lead single, “Je Ne Re Connais Pas” immediately hit me as the theme from a remake (which will more than likely be making its way to the big screen in the next few years) of The Breakfast Club. Though the lyrics are French, the entire tone of the song comes off as a plea, please, please, don’t forget about me.

With Prototypes comes a continual push/pull relationship causing the album’s content to fluctuate in consistency. “Gentlemen” is a laid back, ultra-hip, Euro-trash theme that delivers in true retrospective fashion, calling back to everything Duran Duran was trying to do during the band’s peak years. The track flows with a modern touch directly into a harmonica/fuzz driven “Danse Sur La Merde.” Though the song’s tones and rhythm structures may not perfectly sync with one another they represent the transitional trend within the album, that being a continual jump from one segment of pop culture to the next. One moment the band is in a slick members-only, business savvy, cocaine sniffing night on the town and the next the band is operating under the strictest of teen-pop limitations. While capturing electro-synth, hard driving keyboards and even the occasional guitar the Prototypes pick and choose the pieces that best represent the most animated moments from a decade that has emerged as the it decade.

The only problem with doing so is that even at its best the ’80s were highly inconsistent, shallow and uninspiring. Like the worst of stains, this influence seeps through and finds itself rising to the forefront in a variety of tracks including “Sexy” and “Fils De Bourge,” which miss on most all levels. There are peak moments that take the audience back to realizing that the band isn’t monotonous including the surprising expression of depth, “Who’s Gonna Sing.” At its heart the song calls back to Blondie’s “Rapture,” with its hip-hop undertones and basic beat, but it proves to be a key identifier as to how deep the band dove into the past with this recording. There are moments that beg for reflection and there are moments that should have been left in the past to be forgotten, but despite performing in a currently over-saturated scene the Prototypes deliver all of them with a unique francophone tone.