Risqué, French/Welsh Euro Pop Band

Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down


Review by Charles Moffat
September 2009.

Risqué is the musical duo of French and Welsh wife and husband pairing Nathalie and Huw Williams, who apparently are a bit obsessed with BDSM and paying a homage to Miss Kittin and the Hacker in their new album 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down'. Electroclash anyone?

Even if you don't know who or what those things are it doesn't really matter. Much of their new record feels like a homage and I find that I didn't really listen to the lyrics so much because the music tended to overwhelm and drown out the lyrics.

Musically Nathalie Williams has captured Kittin's ability to soothe and delight the listener, but the background guitar music comes off both half-cocked and strained. If she had a better guitarist, and had put more thought into synching the music with the lyrics I think this album could have been much more enjoyable to listen to.

The album 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' also does several cover songs: Venus in Furs (The Velvet Underground) and Psycho Killer (Talking Heads). They're not bad renditions, but they're not spectacular either.

The record isn't bad however. I give it three, maybe four stars if you are into Euro Pop. I just think it could be better if they went back, got a better guitarist and reworked the music so you can hear the lyrics more clearly.

I also think as a band they're being held back by rank amateurs when it comes to promotion. Their label 'Some Bizarre Records' and promotion group 'Rood Media' are both operating their websites out of cheap bargain basement websites with (and this is my professional opinion as an experienced website designer) the kind of website design that a 11 year old would do. There's also a lot of reliance on MySpace. It hardly inspires confidence in their ability to promote. It also might explain why the record isn't as good as it could be. They need professional criticism and input.

As electro-pop goes 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' / Risqué seems to be want to be the bad boy, the vixen, the fem dominatrix... but I swear to god I thought it sounded a bit like background music to a XXX film. Maybe that was deliberate? It definitely has a kitsch/tongue-in-cheek feel to it.

What I would like, and I hope Nathalie will forgive me for saying this, is heavier deeper sounding music. More bass guitar. Maybe some cello, which has a really rich deep tone (see Jorane). That would contrast better with the lyrics. A little bit of gothic or heavy metal music would add more to the feeling of risqué too, because frankly electro-pop just isn't very risqué. Its too flowery.

Tracklist Nathalie from Risqué

  1. Tie Me Up Tie Me Down

  2. Push the Button (featuring Billie Ray Martin)

  3. I Want Your Number

  4. Psycho Killer (featuring Pravda)

  5. Marilyn (featuring Amanda Lepore and Cazwell)

  6. Hotline

  7. Do You Believe In Heaven?

  8. Venus In Furs

  9. Plastic Lover (featuring Pravda and The Specimen)

  10. Superstitious (featuring Andrea B and Crackdown)

  11. Déshabille-Toi

  12. Can't Stop

  13. Disorder (featuring Ultrafox)

  14. Tie me up Tie me down (Video by PvonB)

Nathalie from Risqué

Press Release

Nathalie from Risqué

"Oozing sensuality and provocative energy, Risqué emerge from the erotic underworld with their Pedro Almodovar inspired debut album, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down, on the revered Some Bizarre label.

Risqué – French vixen Nathalie and her Welsh husband Huw – combine their lavish soundscapes with a series of incredible collaborations from the likes of dance pop diva Billie Ray Martin and New York City’s legendary transsexual sexbomb and muse of David LaChapelle, Amanda Lepore.

The album’s title track, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down showcases Nathalie’s ethereal vocals (in French and English) astride classic electro rhythms while Push The Button with Billie Ray Martin is a rock n’ synth pop anthem in the making.

Nathalie from Risqué

I Want Your Number is a futuristic combination of pure dancefloor energy and the confused mathematics of love: ‘6% pneumatic 60% politic 20% chemistry, 90% destiny’ coos Nathalie.

“This track wasn’t written for Marilyn, it was written for me!” says Amanda Lepore, of Marilyn, the track she guests on. An ode to the celebrity culture of chasing money, youth and ‘VIP utopia’ with echoes of the Pet Shop Boys, it’s a guaranteed hit.

Elsewhere, Risqué give their unique take on Talking Heads’ Psychokiller and Velvet Underground’s S&M anthem Venus In Furs. With provocative tracks like Plastic Lover and Deshabille Toi, rounding up an accomplished debut album, listening is a seductive and sensual experience."

Nathalie from Risqué Nathalie from Risqué
Nathalie from Risqué Nathalie from Risqué

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