By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Mellow get their late '60s on tout de suite, merging the "Strawberry Fields" organ intro into the album's opening strains. From there the Parisian trio (singer Stephane Luginbuhl, players Pierre Begon-Lours and Patrick Woodcock) tone down the techno in their digitized nostalgia while punching up its Summer of Loveness. A few predictable moments on CQ lapse into the aural equivalent of a shag cut from Jean-Louis David, but the rest is pure sucre.
Its most spirited tracks, such as "Love on the Moon" and "CQ Chase Theme," blow Gainsbourg go-go frog funk through an Air tunnel, leaving the idea of a score in the dust. As on so many soundtrack projects, Mellow expend a lot of energy making their incidental music sound like themselves. Among ballad backdrops galore, on "CQ Main Theme" the group drops acid guitar licks with so much tremolo action they practically liquefy, then pours sweet melodica masquerading as accordion over the top. It's a French twist similar to adding a dollop of Nutella to an already sugary crepe.
Elsewhere the band chews up the era's bubblegum pop and spits it out as Mod-ish soul jazz or breathy sex romp (Bardot arranger Paul Piot's "Tous en Scene" is that mode's template). By the time the credits roll, Mellow have polished up a collection of nuggets at least as entertaining as a sci-fi film about traveling to the year 2000.