Here’s a paradox. Kad Achouri left France for London years ago after deciding that the country of his birth was not for him, and yet Société is ineffably Parisian. There is no better way to describe its urbane sense of cool, its utter self-possession. This music is so certain of itself that it never needs to run or shout. It strolls and murmurs. It takes you by the arm and guides you through slinky covers of Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris” and Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” (this nouveau-Nirvana schtick has been done before, however, and it’s getting tiresome); and eleven songs in French. In his arrangements, Kad favours a lightly strummed Spanish guitar. On “Safaya” he introduces a café accordion. On “Dámelo” he raps, sounding charming. Even when he’s singing a protest song he sounds charming. I assume he’s a charming man. I like his hat. His songs glide so well that the album wants for grit and traction, but if you like cosmopolitan chanson this is the place to look.
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