Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Yeh-Yeh Girl's second phase.

Playing right now: Francoise Hardy - Loving
I won this album in an auction several weeks ago and it finally arrived earlier this week. Francoise's Reprise albums have been described to me as having more questionable quality when compared to the ones that came out on 4 Corners (on Vogue in Europe). Over the summer I won her self-titled Reprise album, but it was pretty good. A little more orchestrated, but still pretty catchy. And the cover had the lyrics translated into English, which revealed how much angst factored into her writing.
So I figured Loving couldn't be all that bad, especially since she's singing in English and covering other people's songs. Well, it's not as if she went the Claudine Longet route and got all fluffy and poppy on us, but there is definitely a middle-of-the-road quality to the album. "Let It Be Me," Tim Hardin's "Hang On To A Dream," Ricky Nelson's "Lonesome Town,".....heck even Phil Ochs' "There But For Fortune" is done in a sweetened-up manner.
And then there's the French enunciation coming and going: "There's a town where lover's go/ to kwy their twoubles away"; "Show me a pwison...." But "That'll Be the Day" is fine. It'd be a good song if the rhythm section wasn't so stiff. They sound like they're playing a bump-and-grind stripper routine.
It's not an awful album though. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" is played with an upbeat kind of boogaloo rhythm. And she covers the Kinks' "Who'll Be the Next In Line," which, if Reprise had exercised their PR department, could have been as big a hit as "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'."
I swear that one of my French Francoise albums has a version of the song "Never Learn to Cry" on it. The opening organ riff sounds so familiar. But I've gone through almost all of my albums and couldn't find it. I have one more to go, but my hopes are high for it. Maybe I'm crazy.
Francoise's career is strange because she started out playing breezy '60s pop, then she got more easy listening with this stuff (not sure exactly when it came out). In the late '90s/early '00s she released Le Danger, which had some rocking moments, along with some stuff that was kind of like Suzanne Vega (a good thing in my book). But the more recent Clair-Obscure was more MOR despite a duet with Iggy Pop ("I'll Be Seeing You," in which Ig sounded terrible). Now I read that Julio Iglesias is her latest duet partner. I want to hear it, and yet I don't.

By now, every one probably knows that the Dave Clark Five are nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whoopee!

The new Fiery Furnaces album, Bitter Tea, which is not quite so new now, is really good. Still weird as hell, but I'm glad I got it on vinyl. Having a break every three songs help to me to retain them better. I actually got one of their melodies stuck in my head this week.

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