Hollywood, Mon Amour
Hollywood, Mon Amour
Hollywood, Mon Amour strips away the dated bombast and overblown synthesisers, the shoulder pads and eyeliner, to amazingly reveal songs underneath that you could never even imagine existed. Hollywood in the 1980s was the port of call for post-punk bands who had made it. From Simple Minds to the Human League and Japan the call up for a film soundtrack was the sign that you were in the big league. Fresh off the flight to La La Land, you'd be recording a slice of Giorgio Moroder pop hysteria for a scene where a stripper with a perm was dancing for her life or Rocky Balboa was pounding the streets of Philadelphia. Even this French man who loves to champion the musical underdog knew he had a challenge on his hands.
He was no longer dealing with the cool, underground songs of his youth. He was dealing with records that sounded dated and cheesy - songs that even he wasn't a fan of. But Collin is a cerebral, curious man and he wanted to prove that there was something more. Like a musical archaeologist he painstakingly dug through the layers of garish production to find the forgotten bones of the song beneath.
"Everything that was produced in the 80s sounds unfashionable now but if you take a song like Flashdance (What a Feeling) and really break it down to the chords, you find a classic harmony there. You can interpret the emotion in another way - maybe this girl is not winning but she has failed all her dance exams. You get a totally different feeling from it." It may be hard to believe but Hollywood, Mon Amour will turn songs you had forgotten into songs you will love in love with. Where there was once a garish palette of squealing guitar solos and high-five vocals, Collin manages to find fragile colours and tender melancholy.
"I tried to imagine what these songs would sound like if they had been recorded 20 years before. I had to excavate and imagine what chords or harmonies might have been taken out in the production. I'm not really sure if I am trying to find the treasure underneath - I'm not sure some of these songs have treasure - but I have striven to create something new and interesting." Some of the coolest young female singers around were queuing up to work with Collin including Skye from Morcheba, Brazilian hipster Cibelle and appropriately Hollywood's own rock chick, Juliette Lewis. Collin is no one-trick pony, lazily grafting bossa nova beats onto 80s songs.
He is serious about the philosophical investigation of his work, affectionate for the creativity and excitement of the decade of excess, and proud of how Hollywood Mon Amour opens up infinite musical possibilities, "In modern life you can't do anything new. In Hollywood right now, old films are continually being re-made. What I am doing is the same: I am playing with all of musical culture and recreating songs with sounds from other decades. It is a very post-modern way to work.
I have proved I can do it with good songs so it was good to prove I could do it with bad songs. Maybe, in the end, people will realise that what it is they like is what I do." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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