Sunday, August 24, 2008

French Albums Roundup

Can it really be 30 years since Laurent Voulzy’s legendary French hit "Rockollection"? This was a song incorporating some of Voulzy’s favourite old hits, and you could say it was a forerunner of the hugely popular early 80s "Stars On 45" hit medleys.

Laurent Voulzy has felt the need to celebrate this anniversary with a new album entitled "Recollection". This takes the "Rockollection" theme right across the album with some very interesting results. Voulzy has always been one of my favourite French singer-songwriters over the years and once again he’s collaborated with songwriting partner Alain Souchon on this mix of the old and the new.

Delighted to see the release of Star Academy 7 winner Quentin Mosimann’s debut CD "Duel" which has a very original format - one CD of his jazzy/swing-style interpretations, the other has some great dance remixes which I prefer. Sadly, his Peter Cincotti/David Guetta collaboration on "Love Is Gone" which was so brilliantly featured in Star Academy, is missing from this collection - but there are some very intriguing cover version choices - Talk Talk’s "Such a Shame" and French classics such as "Cargo de Nuit", "C’est La Ouate" and "Mise Au Point". I don’t know how well this CD will do in France, but congratulations to Quentin for doing something so brave and different with his first album.

Mathieu Edward has also released his debut CD: "Entre Toi et Moi" is in that very popular r’n’b style and this is surprisingly quite nice as I hadn’t really rated him before. It includes "Comme Avant" a duet with Sheryfa Luna, whom I also quite like. The album made the top 10 of the French album chart, which isn’t too bad for a Star Academy runner-up.

Matt Pokora’s third album, "MP3" has now completely dropped out of the French album chart, I could only attribute this to the French record-buying public not being too excited about their version of Justin Timberlake going and making an album in the English language. I still love "Dangerous" though - expect to see that doing well in my end-of-year chart.

Being "Mrs President" in France hasn’t stopped Carla Bruni from continuing her recording career: "Comme si de rien n'était" is her latest album and guess what, she’s gone all thrash metal on us!! Only kidding folks, Madame Sarkozy’s back with the same mix of introspective acoustic/jazzy tunes which made her debut "Quelqu’un m’a dit" such a big hit a few years ago. It’s not really my kind of music, but she seems to have cornered this market in France and her elevated status as France’s First Lady will ensure worldwide success - I even saw this CD in my local record shop last week!

I wasn’t really aware of Renan Luce but I understand he’s become very popular in France over the last couple of years. He’s yet another performer in that 'new French chanson' Benabar/Vincent Delerm style, and sometimes I think he sounds like Raphael. His album "Repenti" hit the charts 2 years ago and is still in the top 20. Again not my style, but it could be a lot worse.

I guess "Best of Sinclair" by Sinclair is only out to fulfil some kind of contractual obligation, as he's already had a similar compilation ("Comme Je Suis", once of my Christmas presents in 2004 from faithful travelling companion, no less!!) but this one is a bit of a mixed bag, including stuff from the "Mon Idole" soundtrack whilst leaving out the likes of "Un Jour" and "Sur Le Vif". Now can we have some new material (please please please??)

(album cover photos courtesy of

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