Nous Non Plus – Freudian Slip

January 01, 1970



The French have never had much luck at making rock ‘n’ roll.
Their language’s flowery rhythms roll in nearly direct opposition to rock’s
more exacting syllables. But pop? That’s another story. The gentle eroticism of
the Man and a Woman theme made a
splash in 1966. Nine years later, a Belgian (close enough; and with a lot of
help from Lou Deprijck), stage-named Plastique Bertrand, pumped out the
ridiculously catchy “Ca Plane Pour Moi.” Guess
: It was pop dressed up as punk rock. Freudian Slip‘s opener is kind of like that: there’s a throbbing,
rock-like bass, but “J’en Ai Marre (Had Enough)” is irrepressibly springy. Nous
Non Plus, the offspring of Les Sans Culottes, is, basically, a Euro-Pop/Schlock
group par excellence.


Nous Non Plus isn’t really French. Well, they’re mostly not
French. Celine Dijon (a name a drag queen would kill for) was raised in Paris – but this won’t be
a blow-by-member-blow. The band’s a faux French concept; a ‘60s, via New
Wave/synth-pop, faux French concept. Which is the kind of campy cleverness
Warhol might have munched up with a grilled cheese sandwich. I mean, female
vocals recalling Francoise Hardy, swirling synths (but not too many), mature
pop song-craft, and a male vocalist referencing Yves Montand and Serge Gainsbourg.


A couple of fluffy tracks (I’m on the fence about “All I
Want is You,” along with the aggressive cuteness of “Bunga Bunga”), keep Freudian Slip from being a continuous
player for me.  But I’m having trouble
removing my ears from a track that deliciously captures late-‘60s pop utopia;
“Neil.” “Ne Dis Pas/Indian Summer” also indulges itself in lush, ice-clinking
romanticism – which is, after all, tres


“Ne Dis Pas/Indian Summer,” “J’en Ai Marre (Had Enough)” MARY LEARY


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