Another name from the past resurfaces with Matinée, this time with some new material from The Would Be Goods. I was never much of a fan of the Would Be Goods, I have to say, and their too-neatly coiffed pop of three of the four songs on their new EP leave me cold. Lead track, ‘Emmanuelle Beart’, however, is a storming blast of catchy euro-Pop that swipes the magnificent riff from Stereolab’s ‘French Disko’ and takes it for a carouse round Parisian café tables. Left bank, naturally.
It’s hard to believe it has been 8 years since the last Would-Be-Goods record was released, but this quaint 4 song EP will have you ready for more. The opener “Emmanuelle Béart” is a 60’s camp spyfilm-esque number while the second track is a simple acoustic number with layered vocals and accordion that is sung in French. “Everybody Wants My Baby” is very Gentle Waves meets Francioise Hardy, while “Words” goes back to electric instruments and the spyfilm meets 60’s California pop is back in full swing. An amazing jump back into things, and I for one am seriously waiting on the next full length. --The Bee’s Knees
Pseudo sophisticated cutie (the next stage on from student cutie). Sophistication = songs in French, smart funny lyrics about champagne and Eurobonds, non-shambolic guitars. --Careless Talk Costs Lives
After an eight year hiatus, these London-based popsters have returned in high style with a song that's virtually guaranteed to confuse non-cinephile American listeners. Fortunately, most indie rock fans also enjoy -- or at least have some awareness of -- foreign films, so only a small number of listeners will refer to the EP's peppy lead track as a song about "wanting to look like that French chick from the first Mission: Impossible movie." Here, and on the other three tracks, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jessica Griffin is in fine form; she's coquettish on the title tune, sassily defiant on the equally energetic "Words", and appropriately husky-voiced on "Je lèche les vitrines" and "Everybody Wants My Baby". The first of these two, with its French lyrics and accordion accompaniment, will draw the hardcore Francophiles, but "Everybody Wants My Baby" offers equally compelling cello accompaniment. It's so smooth, Emmanuelle Béart herself might even enjoy it.
It is probably time to confess that for 12 yrs we have laboured under the perhaps understandable impression that the would-be's and the would-be-goods were the same band, compounded rather by having heard nothing from either group apart from (back in about '89) the former's "i'm hardly ever wrong", a promo 7" of which i remember knocking about in the 'offices' of the fanzine i was attempting to help my mate out with at the time...Anyway. in fact the would-be-goods, aka Jessica Griffin and - we speculate - various like-minded cappuccino-bar haunting cohorts, had been on the él label most of the intervening time; a label that we have never really been able to get into because of its overweaning foppishness, despite our laboured Mike Alway appropriation on the "about" page. In fact, my favourite record ever on that label was James Dean Driving Experience's indietastic "Sean Connery" 12", which I gather from this book (er, p. 296) was regarded by Alway et al at the time as a fairly vulgar and downmarket affair compared to the swooning jazziness of él's own "pet" bands. Anyway, on the assumption that you might even want some kind of comment on the record, "Emmanuelle Beart" and "Words" are catchy, driven pop numbers, with Griffin's cultured vocal lending proceedings a bourgeois, ski-chalet air. We weren't so taken with the other tracks, which shun the drums and bass for a tangle of acoustic whimsy, but that's often the way when the lead track on a single is so bloody addictive... It casts a shadow over the succeeding numbers. With an album on the way soon, we'll be able to analyse the would-be-goods (especially now the penny has dropped!) more closely in future. --In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times
After an eight year hiatus, British songwriter/chanteuse Jessica Griffin is back with four new songs (and the promise of a lot more soon!). First off, is the fabulously catchy & upbeat title track about a French star, which will surely have you dancing in no time (worked for me!). Peter Momtchiloff helps out on this track (as well as the closer, "Words"), as does ex-Razorcuts drummer Struan Robertson. The two middle songs are acoustic and a lot quieter, with Jessica helped out by accordian on the French "Je lèche les vitrines", and cello on "Everybody Wants My Baby". MTQ=4/4 --IndiePages
The Would-Be-Goods are another name from the past, who released records on él (amongst other labels) a few years back. The band is based around songwriter Jessica Griffin, who previously recorded with The Monochrome Set as her backing band. She now has a CDEP on Matinée, Emmanuelle Béart, which has The Monochrome Set's Orson Presence on accordion, Peter Momtchiloff (Talulah Gosh/Heavenly/Marine Research) on guitar and bass and Struan Robertson (Razorcuts) on drums. The title track is brilliant, noisyish indiepop with witty lyrics; Je Lèche Les Vitrines is an acoustic song, sung entirely in French, and featuring accordion played in the traditional French style. Everybody Wants My Baby is another sophisticated acoustic pop song, and Words returns to the full band instrumentation of the first track. This EP is excellent - there's an album out soon which I look forward to! --Aquamarine
A welcome return from former El artistes the Would be Goods, featuring back-up from ex-Heavenly / Marine Research and Razorcuts members - typically swoonsome perfectly enunciated stylish pop. --Melody Bar
What a special treat it is to have Ms. Jessica Griffin still performing her la-la popsongs. On this CD single, she is backed by ex-members of Talulah Gosh, Razorcuts and Monochrome Set, all UK NME C-86 pop heavyweights. The songs seem a little bit more in the "yeh-yeh girl" vein than before. --Shredding Paper
Even though painted as a band during their time spent as artists on the El Records roster, Would-Be-Goods have always really been Jessica Griffin's project. This 4 track CD single comes almost 10 years after the last Would-Be-Goods recordings. I was scared that it would not live up to my expectations, as The Free Designs recent 'Cosmic Peekaboo' CD failed to do. To my delight 3 of the songs please me. The song I'm not crazy for is "Je Leche Les Vitrines", a soft song sung in French. The other soft song, "Everybody Wants My Baby" is filled with imagery that I'd imagine Wendy singing in Peter Pan, charged with protecting the children in her care as they went through adventures galore. The title song is written in honor the French actress Emmanuelle Beart, who played the exquisite strange girl in the film 'Manon Of the Spring.' It really is zippy and fun, exactly like I would have hoped Would-Be-Goods could sound in 2001. The final song on the EP "Words" is another rocking song that works just fine for me. Now the wait for the full length begins... Welcome back, Would-Be-Goods! --Gullbuy
Would-Be-Goods is one of legendary label El Records' most popular artists. Fronted by Jessica Griffin, the Would-Be-Goods have recently released a CD-EP many years after working with El entitled Emmanuel Beart through Matinée Recordings, signaling their much anticipated return to the indie scene. Emmanuelle Beart contains four tracks of pretty, eclectic pop all written by Ms. Griffin. The fast-paced songs, Words and the amazing title track see them in a relatively upbeat mood, with swaying melodies and slightly fuzzy electric guitars most especially in the latter. Emmanuelle Beart, a song about the French film star, is indeed quite a catchy song that's swift and jerky with lines such as "Pose in the nude like Emmanuelle Beart/ Be a superstar like Emmanuelle Beart/ Walk on the beach like Emmanuelle Beart." In the meantime, Je Leche Les Vitrines seems like the song came straight from a surreal French film with dreamy and peculiar accordion courtesy of Orson Presence alongside a solitary acoustic guitar plucked in * time. Everybody Wants My Baby on the other hand is another acoustic outing with cellos by Jacqueline du Presence - a track that is fairly reminiscent of some of Alison Statton's best works. With this release, we are sure anticipating the Would-Be-Goods' third full-length, Brief Lives would be a much lovely treat. --Pinoy Central
I really must find out how to type accents on this crappy old computer - there should have been two up there in the title... Anyway....this is my first exposure to Would-Be-Goods, whose line up reads like a who's who of British twee-pop of the last 20 years. The title track is basically Jessica Griffin getting stroppy because she can't quite nail that Emmanuelle Béart look, and hey, who wouldn't be miffed? Four tracks of endearing chic pop here then. I think Would-Be-Goods and I will meet again... --Tasty
Jessica Griffin, if it is she on the cover, could be a dead ringer for Julianne Moore should Julianne Moore also adopt the Amelia Fletcher bob as her standard get-up. Jessica is a smart girl, or so I would assume since she is an Oxford graduate but then there are a couple of Oxford graduates on the I Love Music message board that really do not project the most imposing of intellects but then again I suppose college can not make you an original thinker that sees outside the box. Anyhow. The first Would Be Goods release in 8 years finds them sounding a lot like the Would Be Goods 8 years ago. Not a lot has changed, her singing is still delightfully polite, the music clearly delineated in the mix and well it is a welcome return and perfectly underwhelming in the best manners of a well educated college graduate. --Twee Kitten
Esse single marca a volta em grande estilo do Would-Be-Goods, banda que no final dos anos 80 lançou dois singles e um ótimo álbum pela legendária él Records. Com ajuda do amigo Peter Momtchiloff (Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research) nas guitarras, Jessica surge com um hit P!O!P! tão legal quanto a clássica "The Camera Loves Me". "Emmanuelle Béart" é guitar pop upbeat com vocais femininos e melodia bubblegum. Clássico instantâneo. Já "Je lèche lês vitrines" e "Everybody Wants My Baby" são baladas folk, onde temos somente dedilhados de violão, a bela voz de Jessica e violoncelos para uma boa medida. Obviamente a canção com nome em francês tem letra em francês. Cool até não poder mais. "Words" volta ao celebrado guitar pop que eles sabem fazer tão bem. --Esquizofrenia