Dusted Reviews

V/A - Love

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: V/A

Album: Love

Label: La Troisième Note

Review date: Aug. 6, 2006

Here’s a pleasant little bauble, existing for no other reason than to spread beauty (but one could imagine something that fell from the pages of a not-quite-New Wave obsessed Sofia Coppola’s diary). Love is a collection of late '60s soft-rock chestnuts, compiled by the D.I.R.T.Y. Soundsystem (“selector” Guillaume Sorge, and “sound designer” Catherine Piault). The mixtape ethos at the heart of Love keeps things consistent with its theme, intoxicating numbers running the gamut from orchestral pop to jazz-pop. Harpers Bizarre, an often brilliant studio pop ensemble, opens the disc with their mesmerizing single “Witchi Tai To,” its tinkling bells, pre-Kraut motorik rhythms and breathy vocal harmonies paving a direct path to both Neu! and Loveless. This is followed by the Turtles’ ballad “You Showed Me,” and arguably Donovan’s finest moment, “Get Thy Bearings.”

The disc is broken up into sets, punctuated by hippie girls talking about carnal pleasures and the freedom in their lives. There are a few misfires; Bill Fay’s brassy “Some Good Advice” is a jarring selection that sticks out harshly on the second set, and a really cloying second Harpers Bizarre selection, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” closes the disc out on a note that’s just far too easy, after having dug up fine album sides by Harry Nilsson, the Zombies’ swinging rendition of “Summertime,” the Hollies’ fragile “Butterfly,” and Blossom Dearie’s precious “Long Daddy Green.” I would have bolstered this particular session with, say, the Left Banke’s “Desiree” or “Pretty Ballerina,” and definitely the Association’s madcap “Pandora’s Golden Heebie-Jeebies.”

But this is the compilers’ mix CD, not mine, and the fact that I (and indeed you) can argue abut what belongs here and what doesn’t belies the purpose of this collection, which, in Piault’s and Sorge’s words is for “presenting collectors’ music to girls who never remember the title of the songs they love.” It becomes fairly obvious that the gentle chauvinism, innocent optimism, and aesthetic value of such a statement could have come from nowhere else but France, but that only adds to its charms. To make a CD of songs anyone could dig out of a dollar bin if they tried hard enough, and float it past purely for reasons of taste and character (and furthermore, leaving all the crucial vinyl pops and crackles intact), pushes this artifact out of the realm of any sort of rediscovery mission. Many of you know at least one or two of the songs on Love; here, then, are some more that fill out a very pleasing and altogether listenable collection of site-specific, romantic tunes. You may not know who sent you this mix – a secret admirer, perhaps – but you’ll probably want more once it’s done spinning.

By Doug Mosurock

Read More

View all articles by Doug Mosurock

Find out more about La Troisième Note

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.