Only Canada could produce something as insidious as an album of jazz covers of ‘80s songs (in a French accent, no less). Yet The Lost Fingers, a trio of handsome gentlemen with excellent sunglasses, have made this potentially disastrous idea into a relentlessly clever and hilarious album. It’s a subversive and insidious Canadian plot at a takeover of American culture, but it’s so enjoyable that I don’t care.
With a sparse cast of instruments consisting of only two guitars and a double bass, The Lost Fingers are a study in musical economy. The songs are sparse, but nevertheless perfectly appropriate, with a strange, personal twist on each song. My personal favorite is their take on “You Shook Me All Night Long,” which turns the rock anthem to a laid-back country swing-fest. The three musicians are talented enough to be entertaining and surprising, even when their ideas don’t work. Add singer Christian Roberge’s cigarette-soaked Québécois accent into the mix, and the record’s surreality jumps from intriguing to priceless.
Lost In The ‘80s is a great example of how to create something out of nothing. It’s not an album of ‘80s covers—it’s a jazz album which happens to be made from famous ‘80s songs. It’s this emphasis on creativity and musical weirdness over strict adherence to the original songs that makes this album so successful. It’s a piece of bubblegum wrapped in cotton candy dipped in soda—disposable and shockingly sweet, but oddly charming.