Lili Fatale – Panavision – Review

Lili Fatale

Panavision (Sony Musique, Canada)
By Michael McCarthy

It’s appropriate that there’s an airplane on the cover of Panavision, the second album from the Montréal trio known as Lili Fatale (Sony Musique, Canada), because it’s all over the place, jumping from genre to genre sometimes within the context of a single song. It opens with “Depuis que Tu Es Parti” (“Since You Left”), a track sporting such a furious and intense beat that it calls to mind vintage Iron Maiden in spite of Nathalie Courchesne’s sweet melodic vocals and the lack of loud metal guitars (seriously, give it a listen then play Maiden’s “Run to The Hills” and you’ll see what I mean). It’s probably better compared to Garbage’s “Temptation Waits,” admittedly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Maiden is an influence with so many styles meshed so indelicately on this disc, which is described by its makers as “rétro-futuriste.” “Dans le Pays du Froid” (“In the Cold Country”) commences with a techno beat that, combined with vocals from Uranian Valcéanu, one of the trio’s two males, comes off like Praga Khan. But then Nathalie sings the chorus, which is an enticing interpolation of “Rapture” by Blondie, and takes things to another place entirely. Meanwhile, “Cette Histoire est Insensée Bandito!” has more talking than singing, using dialogue excerpts à la The Avalanches. And the title track is an instrumental that almost sounds like Portishead covering a piece of film score by Ennio Morricone! If you’re a self-respecting pop fan, you’ll be ready to bow down by the time you get to “Mon Nom est Personne” (“My Name is Nobody”), on which Nathalie commands “pull the trigger… come on girl… pull the fuckin’ trigger.”