Smokey Joe and the Kid: Running To The Moon

review-smokey-x1-cong

Well, we might have gotten us right here our most played album of the year. Yessir. It makes you talk like this because it drops in bits of dialogue from top movies and is a bit 1920s. The opening track has lines from O Brother, Where Art Thou?:

“You work for the railroad, Grampa?

I work for no man.

Got a name, do you?

I have no name.

Well, that right there may be the reason you’ve had difficulty findin’ gainful employment…”

Elsewhere there’s Goodfellas (“I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to —– amuse you?”).

These clips are only a small part of the charm. Smokey Joe and the Kid are French and we’re guessing their roots are in electroswing, a genre that seems more popular in Europe than here, where it’s not popular at all. Maybe its charms fade in Europe aussi, because here they mix electroswing with hip hop, jazz, blues, soul and tomfoolery.

It’s a pleasing mix of the old and the modern, a piece of hip hop followed by a section that combines a 1920s speakeasy with New Orleans jazz and blues.

It opens with Ouverture, a slow jazz trumpet over the O Brother clip. Running To The Moon is a big-beated hip hop tune with jazz piano and Fatboy Slim-style vocal samples. Walking opens with New Orleans street jazz. Six Feet Below opens with a jazz singer giving a name check to Satan followed by rapping; while they do hip hop, it’s melodic and in the style of Canadian k-os, who goes for wit and beats rather the hos and drugs. Most notably this is the case in the clever Please Come Home.

Cerebral and entertaining, they remind us of k-os (for the beats and the rhymes) and Gotye (for the diverse sound while holding a melody). It’s of no definite genre, which might put you off, but it’s entertaining.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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