There’s a reason radio has such extremist response. Some people love it because they play the same music—and a certain kind of music, at that—24/7. Others hate it, for the exact same reason. I suspect Mexican singer Gina Récamier, also known as Madame Récamier, is gonna get a LOT of radio time for her debut album, Chocolate. If you know how to read between the lines, you’ll know that’s not a good thing.
With 10 tracks, Chocolate could be considered a short collection, but it seems to be never-ending. It just goes on and on, becoming one of those albums that half the population will fall in love with and the other half will, um, not. Récamier experiments with cartoonish sounds of circus rides and cotton candy. She brilliantly tortures with images of Barbie lipstick pink and girly girls holding hands, resulting in a collection that will probably succeed, in nauseating plastic-pop fashion.
To those listeners that believe in child psychobabble, well, trust me—blocked memories of unhappy childhood will definitely come screaming back, because Madame Récamier makes “happy,” aka disturbing, music. And of course I end up feeling like Rizzo in Grease, in skin-tight high-waisted shorts and a cigarette dangling between my lips, making fun of Sandy Dee and all that is good and pure.
The first song, “Canción por partes,” actually starts off narrating a ¨how to make a song¨ lesson to children, complete with cheering voices like those of sing-alongs or Barney audiobooks (I don’t really know if Barney has audiobooks, but he totally WOULD). The album includes three songs in English. “Ordinary Boy” and “Ballerina Dream,” both which mix fast, poppy clips with more tranquil, soothing parts that would otherwise give the song potential. The third, “Kiss You,” is just plain bad.
It is in a few (very) brief moments in “Ordinary Boy” that you can pick up Récamier’s influences like Feist and Regina Spektor, whom are actually two well-respected musicians. But Récamier, with her annoying Tatiana-esque twist, falls very, very short. The one song that should immediately be shoved into a fire safe box and never be messed with is “No Dudes,” a slower and muskier track that hopefully foreshadows a sort of second identity of Madame Récamier’s that will be unveiled soon after.
Overall, Chocolate was disappointing. Having been sought-after during South By Southwest, one would assume Récamier would be fresh and different—in the good way. But the collection’s style remains plastic and cheap and, most frightening of all, perfect for popular radio.