The Flower Book
For some musicians, it seems music is never enough — they’d make movies if they could. Emilie Simon falls into this camp, albeit with a little more credibility than most given that she contributed a tune, “The Song of the Storm,” to the original French release of The March of the Penguins.
Not that this song has much to do with those endearing creatures, or the documentary they inspired. Simon really seems to have another movie in mind, something just as atmospheric, but with people providing the love interest. The Flower Book consists of 15 tracks, combining the highlights from this French artist’s two previous European albums, her first self-titled CD and Vegetal.
Singing alternately in English and French, Simon skims her waifish voice across heavy beds of electronic sound. The result is an often noirish, late-night brand of sonic wallpaper that, given a certain mood, can be quite pleasing — like mixing champagne and hashish.
This is Emilie Simon’s first U.S. release. Although French recording artists, from the ridiculous Johnny Hallyday to the sublime Francoise Hardy, have had a hard time gaining traction here, the world may finally be small enough and the language of style sufficiently cosmopolitan for Simon’s Euro-inflected brand of dark-eyed pop.