If the first you hear of Malajube is the single “Montreal -40 C,” you may dismiss them as an undistinguished, shiny-happy Euro-pop rock act thrown together in homage to The Cardigans. This would be a tragic, but understandable, error, since it’s not until the fourth track of “Trompe L’oeil” that the depth and darkness of the frozen North American tundra comes through. Call it their “Broken Social Scene-ness.”
The BSS comparison is apt not just because they are Canadian. The followup to their 2004 debut “Le Compte Complet” is full of perfect indie-rock surprises that feel not so much written as organically composed. The vocals — in French — are mixed in as just one more instrument, meaning that musically the album will appeal even to Anglophones.
Klaus Meine of The Scorpions once said he decided to sing in English because heavy metal sounds awful in German. This was probably disingenuous — what he meant was “show me the money.” But this is no longer the case; Iceland’s Sigur Ros broke the rock barrier for foreign tongues five years ago, and Sweden’s Dungen earned plaudits worldwide last year. It would be a just world if Malajube were next.
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