-M- -Mister Mystère (Barclay, 2009)
-M- is the pseudonym of Mathieu Chedid, French singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and son of French-Libanese chasonnier Louis Chedid (hence the pseudonym, to avoid pigeonholing, I think). Mister Mystère is his 4th vocal album; he also has one instrumental LP and a soundtrack to his name.
I may as well say it straight off- I love this album. I haven't heard much of his earlier stuff (yet- it's further down the pile) but what I have heard, I like. Stylistically the album's a bit of a mixture: straight chanson, arrangements strongly reminiscent of Malian pop, bank robberies in musical form (!), funk....particular favourites are 'Amssétou'-the Mali-esque one-'Est-ce c'est ça?',whose intro sounds weirdly identical to the Kook's 'Naive', and 'Le Roi des Ombres' which has a truly brilliant intro and arrangement,very atmospheric, almost 70s-esque.
As far as I know Amazon UK don't have this yet. Amazon.fr do, obviously,and iTunes. It's worth seeking out, preferably in physical format:you get a DVD with extra songs as well.