FINALLY, the new Coralie Clément album is here. CC (or Coralie Biolay, if you prefer her real name) took some time to give birth to daughter Iris, getting a divorce from Iris’ dad, recording a children’s songbook and appearing on various tributes. She did write her own songs during the years, but up until recently didn’t find the time to record them. With help from brother Benjamin Biolay and Etienne Daho, ‘La Belle Affaire’ is a sweet, sticky and sunny album – one that helps you get through the coming fall.
It is not as jazzy as her (still beautiful) début, it’s not as rock-y as her (still great) sophomore album and not as exotic (or should I say quixotic, given that it was recorded with a lot of toy instruments) as her last effort. La Belle Affaire is FillesSourires-music as we like it. Prominent plopping bass, gentle guitar-strumming, some piano, ukelele and bells. Brigitte Bardot, early Françoise Hardy, early Jane Birkin, the most recent Elodie Frégé album, that’s the spirit here.
Four songs really stick out: ‘Trois fois rien’, with it’s tender bells, the twangy ‘Eléphant Noir’ (this twangin’ guitar pops up a lot on the album, which is good), the tango of ‘Sur mes yeux’ and the superbreathy ‘Tes nuits pâles’, the best track on the album. The video above is for ‘A demi mot’, also on the album.
There’s a by-the-numbers ‘reprise’ of ‘Mon Amie la Rose’ (Hardy) that, apart from it’s country-waltzy tempo, doesn’t add anything to the original. Really bad (badbadnotgood) is the cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. The Franglais isn’t charming, the arrangement rather dull. If you ask me, it’s a stain on a highly charming, breathy and sexy album.