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Putumayo Presents French Cafe (2003)

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Putumayo Presents French Cafe (2003)

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1. Fibre De Verre - Paris Combo
2. Marilou Sous La Neige - Serge Gainsbourg
3. Si La Photo Est Bonne - Barbara			play
4. Juste Quelau'un De Bien - Enso Enso
5. Je M'Suis Fait Tout Petit - Georges Brassens
6. Elaeudanla Teiteia - Jane Birkin
7. La Mer Opale - Coralie Clement
8. Ondule - Mathieu Boogaerts
9. Un Jour Comme Un Autre - Brigitte Bardot	play
10. On N'a Pas Besoin - Paris Combo
11. Mal O Mains - Sanseverino
12. En Douce - Baguette Quartette
13. La Fee Clochette – Polo

 

Although far from definitive (no Edith Piaf in sight!), this enchanting compilation delivers a perfect aural snapshot of what spending a late summer afternoon in a French cafe actually feels like. The supreme elegance and understated approach that lie at the core of these 13 tracks will delight fans of sophisticated pop. As is the case with previous Putumayo releases, the sequencing is seamless, combining the endearingly old-fashioned flavor of George Brassens with the iconoclastic romanticism of George Gainsbourg and the sultry whispers of a youthful Brigitte Bardot. Better yet, the disc spends some valuable time introducing listeners to a new generation of French musicians who have embraced the traditional chanson format while incorporating fresh elements into the mix. Try the light-as-a-feather caress of female vocalist Enzo Enzo, the sweet playfulness of the electronica-informed Mathieu Boogaerts, and the irrepressible optimism of Paris Combo--a jazzy quintet that represents the French cafe ambiance at its cosmopolitan best. --Ernesto Fechner

 

Serge Gainsbourg (or Gainsbarre, as they call him in the Caribbean) is one of the creepiest musical perverts ever known. He's also one of France's great musical geniuses, so go figure. Putumayo had the guts to put him on the disc and the good taste to select a beautiful, melancholy, and touching song: "Marilou sous la neige".

How do you narrow down the brilliant Barbara to a single song? Everything about her was always just so: the right enunciation, hitting the notes perfectly, every hair in place, her make-up impeccable. Putumayo chose "Si la photo est bonne", and it fits right into the album without leaving me drooling for more (although more would be nice).

The collection is called "French Cafe", so you should have a pretty good idea what you're going to get. The question is, did Putumayo choose the tracks well? ABSOLUTELY. This is one of their real winners. It creates a perfect mood, laid-back and content, neither too melancholy nor too zealous.

Just the thing for cruising the Pacific Coast Highway through Laguna Beach, the sun and waves and palm trees and thirty dollar pizzas and rich ladies in high heels on the beach.

Or you might want to put it on while you houseclean, because it's not so brooding you'll collapse in tears among the cinders, but neither is it so vigorous you'll look like a overprogrammed robot. You'll just think: "Hell, why not vacuum in pearls?" ---Rebecca Whiting

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 January 2016 15:01)

 

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