Release date: 25/10/10 Link: Official Site Buy: Amazon With all the inspiration of cosmopolitan urbanite meccas like Paris and New York to draw from, there's no surprise about the sort of 'life' French hip-hop producer Wax Tailor is in the mood for on his third album. Immediately the much acclaimed Tailor (Jean-Christophe Le Saoût to his friends, probably) tries to set the scene with 'City Vapors', the somber opening that brings together classical music and traffic ambience. It's an instant indication that Tailor’s love of vintage sampling is still in good health. The album is essentially made up of three different elements: short skits that seem to serve only as a quick pointer of what's next, Tailor's sample-laden constructs and collaborations with guests. While Tailor has clearly learned his lessons from DJ Shadow well, at times there's a lack of finesse about his instrumental music. There’s a creeping sense that Tailor is not setting the bar particularly high and that any knowledgeable amateur with the free time and the inclination could create music of a similar level of sophistication. His cast of collaborators serves him better but there's a significant difference between Tailor's dabbling with soul and his attempts at more conventional hip-hop. 'B-Boy On Wax' and 'Until Heaven Stops The Rain' feature MCs Speech Defect and Mattic (respectively) delivering explosive verses that seem to suit their songs but do nothing for the album overall, and they seem altogether out of place. It also seems a bit hackneyed, like they've been lifted from an outtakes reel of 8 Mile. His duets with female singers bear much more succulent musical fruit. The standout performer is Charlotte Savary, who features on four songs here. The combination of Tailor's production and Savary's vocals is ideal. It brings new dimensions to the album and keeps it from becoming monotonous. Just compare 'Dragon Chasers' with 'Go Without Me'. Had Dionne Charles starred more prominently she could have rivaled Savary but her contributions are limited to the addictive beat-heavy Motown soundalike 'Leave It', easily one of the best moments on the album. Wax Tailor has an impressive musical arsenal at his disposal and the right application of his skills would result in some truly wonderful music. It might fly in the face of hip-hop purism but there's a potential classic in his collaborations with female singers. As it is, In The Mood For Life seems to be caught in several minds about which direction to take, when some of the ideas are considerably better than others.   Photobucket