Thursday, 12 December 2013
Détroit: Null and Void
It's a great song, which stands up will to the work of Noir Désir, as indeed does the rest of Détroit's debut album Horizons.
Of course, the circumstances of Cantat's situation hangs heavy over the release, which is difficult to assess without regard to the fact that Cantat committed a crime that would appall any right-minded person.
There's an argument over whether he has any right to continue working in a field which, whether framed as art or culture, remains at the end of the day entertainment.
I don't have any easy conclusion. While the song and much of the work can be seen as an expression of Cantat's pain and turmoil, I have my doubts whether the family of his victim - or those who have themselves suffered domestic violence - particularly care.
But putting the crime and punishment debate to one side, taken on its own merit the album is a powerful release and in easier circumstances would probably find itself regarded as one of the best of the year.
While not exactly pushing the boundaries of new music, Cantat has always been one of French rock's most articulate voices and the release shows that has not been diminished.
Détroit are touring next year, with a series of sold-out dates in Paris in June next year as well as shows elsewhere across France.