ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Anne Pigalle Everything Could Be So Perfect ZTT

NAMES come to mind… distant, luxuriant, exotic names. French names — Edith Piaf, Gaulois, Vichie Suoize, St Laurent, Mitterand, Renault 5… and Anne Pigalle. Spot the odd one out. The first are very Rive Gauche, the last is simply gauche. Anne Pigalle — Sasha Distel raised an octave while stooping to new depths of vacant and posed deprivation as samba is cajolled into a shotgun wedding with Annes brittle half-sung chant of broken English.

Old numbers come to mind… broken dreams. Sadly, however, none of the slivers of atmosphere displayed here are strong enough to carry such a thinly-sketched personality, and Annes character is too frail to stamp its authority on the shifting scenes of background music that only fade into the distance.

Her signature is illegible. Her sex is sterile, antiseptic, and about as enticing as Maurice Chevaliers left buttock. Even the wistful entreaties of “He! Stranger” complete with melodramatic violin serenades issue no warmth, no regret, no ecstacy and no pain. In fact, the only pain throughout the album occurs when Miss Pigalle actually tries to sing. A torch singer with no flames.

The bogus sophistication of “Looking For Love”, and the mindboggling emptiness of “Souvenier DUn Paris” are only partly made pallatable by Luis Jardims sheen of production — a task overseen by the ever-present Trevor Horn. Rather a pity that both of them overlooked the severe limitations of a puppet chanteuse whose strings dont work. Only “Intermission” breaks the emotive silence, and ear-splitting mundanity when swing harmoniums and cantering rhythms haul Pigalles voice out of transparency and into invisibility. Grace Jones could have pulled it off — Anne Pigalle merely pastes it on, crossing the fine line between cool detachment and rigid automation.

Words come to mind… Harsh words. French words. Words for Anne Pigalle… Give up.

Ted Mico