No [a]Smurfs[/a]. Definitely no [a]Smurfs[/a]. This much we know about [I]Cosmo Vitelli[/I]: he doesn't like those pesky blue critters...

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The Lonesome Crowded West

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The Lonesome Crowded West

No [a]Smurfs[/a]. Definitely no [a]Smurfs[/a]. This much we know about [I]Cosmo Vitelli[/I]: he doesn’t like those pesky blue critters, as the single ‘We Don’t Need No Smurf Here’ attested. Are we grasping at thin straws of information here? Possibly, for it seems Paris’ stylish ‘dance revolution’ has finally succumbed to that perennial UK trait: the anonymous dance bloke.

Not that ‘dance personalities’ Air have ever said anything wildly interesting and, in fairness, if Cosmo is at all similar to his music he’ll be at least pleasantly unbalanced. Still, never one to shy away from a ‘quirky’ sample, Vitelli applies himself to the largely pointless disciplines of suave dinner party muzak (‘En Avant Pour La 6eme Republique’) and complicated, punchline-lacking gags – eight minutes of ‘Science Affliction’‘s ’80s electro pastiche and sci-fi narrative just isn’t funny.

Only when he combines the pair, as on ‘…Smurf’, do we chuckle knowingly. Which is little compensation for such an uneven album, but it could well make him France’s answer to Bentley Rhythm Ace: one joke, repeat until funny.

Vitelli needs to hone his style and focus on what it is he’s trying to achieve because, post-Air, Parisian producers with a mildly distracting approach to crisp house are ten a centime. It’d be a shame for Vitelli to linger with them.