by Paul POP!, First Coast News
It's been nearly a year since the release of Le Pop 4 but it's not like the fine folks at Le Pop Musik have taken the year off. Oh no, they've been hard at work putting together another volume of the series that features only the most fabulous French pop on the planet. As this compilation demonstrates, the Nouvelle Chanson has continued to gain ground and there are so many great records coming out of France now it's almost impossible to keep up. What's a fan of the genre who doesn't exactly have easy access to French records to do? Well, picking up Le Pop/Les Filles is a brilliant start.
Le Pop/Les Filles like past releases features sixteen tracks that span the depth and variety of Nouvelle Chanson. Le Pop/Les Filles' tracks run the gauntlet from swingin' kitschy pop numbers, to tunes that almost sound like French hip hop, to 60's inspired lounge music. It's a fascinating blend of old and new. It's as if what's old is new again and what's new is old again. It's cyclical brilliance.
Truly proving music is a universal sort of thing, these songs are easy to understand despite being completely in French. With an arch sense of humor, a wink, an elbow and a gentle nudge you'll find it difficult not to fall for Le Pop/Les Filles. Add in horns, synths, vibes, xylophones, jangly guitars, the sweetest vocals to ever grace vinyl and you have an album that's pure French pop seduction.
Whether it's the completely kitsch slink of Maud Lubeck's, "Le Parapluie," or Poney Express' French take on Belle and Sebastian on, "Paris de Loin," Le Pop/Les Filles is an album that so effortlessly mixes traditional Chanson songs with modern pop elements that you won't know what's new or old. Listening to Le Pop/Les Filles is like spending a sunny day in Paris with Ratatouille as your guide. It's a tasty treat that's as sweet as creme brulee and as kitsch as a beret. Vive Le France.
First Coast News / Paul POP!