The last time I listened to Babylon Circus, I was reviewing their last album “Dance of Resistance.” I liked the album but I guess I just forgot about the band? That won’t be happening again, that’s for sure! The newest release from this French band, “La Belle Etoile” is by far one of the best albums I’ve heard all year long. If you like ska, French cabaret music, jazz, swing and gypsy music; you’ll absolutely love this new album!
Babylon Circus used to just play ska & reggae but they are something more than that now, especially with this “magnifique” album. The first song “Des Fois” is actually the first song I heard on their MySpace page that just turned my head. After that, I knew I had to get this album. The band mixes French and English lyrics; more French this album than in the past. I have no idea what they are saying but it makes me want to learn French (again) just to understand the lyrics.
The best tracks on the album are a tossup between “Marions Nous Au Soleil” and “Perdu.” “Marions Nous Au Soleil” features the lovely Karina Zeviani (Thievery Corporation, Nouvelle Vague). Hearing the song sounds like some elaborate French cabaret musical, and the video definitely seems to back that up. “Perdu” is perhaps the catchiest song on La Belle Etoile. I recommend checking out those 2 tracks first to see if you would like Babylon Circus.
If you like ska & reggae and bands like DeVotchKa and Gogol Bordello, you really have to check out Babylon Circus. I didn’t even get this album for review and I had to write about it. Each song offers variety, but each song makes you want to get up and dance. I know when I hear an album and I want to hear it every day, I know it’s a special one.
Bottom Line: One of the best albums of the year!
Notable Tracks: Des Fois, Marions Nous Au Soleil (feat. Karina Zeviani), L’Envol, Perdu, Sur la Tête, Nina