[14 January 2008]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
This sugary turd nugget is being touted as the French response to Timbaland and Timberlake and, at least on paper, they’ve got something there. Party de Plaisir is the long-awaited solo debut from TTC general Teki Latex, whose Big Dada hip-hop group is in the elite rankings of the genre in France, as well as being noted in Canada and the UK. The record was mostly produced by the Gonzales-Renaud Letang partnership, which earned massive industry respect while working with everyone from Feist and Jamie Lidell to Manu Chao and Jane Birkin.
What really hammers home the Timba-lake comparison is Party de Plaisir‘s pure vapid bubblegum pop aesthetic. Latex has all the lyrical integrity of a retarded kindergarten speed freak, unless defending disco, the ability to drink, and tapping ass are now seen as a radical political stances. “The Ish” is easily in the top ten single dumbest moments in recorded history, teaching us the valuable information that “the ish is the shit” and vice versa in several different phrasings over and over again between ordering the “white bitches with fat asses [to] get on the tour bus now.” I think that track may contain the code for the apocalypse. Expect to hear it a lot during the next Republican National Convention.
Granted, the album is well produced, as good as anything on the Billboard charts, but the TTC catalogue is just as smooth and, what’s more, has the balls to be itself. Now, I don’t much listen to them either for selfish reasons, as I find French rap sounds about as natural as Pavarotti’s “Achy Breaky Heart” cover. The beats were their redeeming factor for me and the rhymes (being as I only have working knowledge of grade 12 French) didn’t get in the way. Now they are and the music only cements the blockade. Party de Plaisir is a 1980 pop album that forgot something important.