Here’s guestposter Sylvester lookin’ over his shoulder. He will broadcast his best of the year list this saturday and on January 4th, via THIS link.

Father Christmas will have a hard time finding interesting new albums in the category Variété Français. The past few months have not exactly been fruitful for French chanson. On the other hand, in the first part of 2013 the supply was overwhelming! Very difficult to reduce this overload to a Top 10.

10. Thomas Fersen & The Ginger Experiment
In the year he turned fifty, Fersen went back to the rock sound of his debut. Good for him, it compensates for his lethargic voice, which is so much in contrast with his imaginative lyrics. VIDEO

9. Rose – Et Puis Juin
Her third album got rather a poor reception by the critics, but it wasn’t that bad. At least ‘Aux éclats je ris’ was an excellent song to start spring with. VIDEO
8. Carla Bruni – Little French songs
Charming songs about Mick Jagger and about her sentimental, dynamic husband. François ‘Penguin’ Hollande is a poseur, according to La Bruni, but I’m glad his victory made it possible to relaunch her singing career. VIDEO

7. Sanseverino – Honky tonk
His newest album was a tribute to blue grass music, but the jazzy gipsy sound dominated like before. Stéphane Sanseverino remains the best representation of Django Reinhardt on earth. VIDEO

6. Clarika – La tournure des choses
Nice lively cd of the 46-year old singer, who recently was the victim of a death-anouncement-hoax on Facebook. No wonder she prefers old-fashioned means of communication, like letters written with a ballpoint – she sings about it on her new album. VIDEO

5. Hôtel Morphée – Des histoires de fantômes
Promising debute of this Canadian avantgarde popband, with a nice folky psychedelic sixties sound. It took them five years to make their first album, but now they have acquired a taste for it: next year they will record a successor. VIDEO

4. Sophie Maurin – Sophie Maurin
Ragtime piano, bluesy mood, charming voice, interesting lyrics, excellent debutante! I very much liked her first album, wich is varied and vivid, with a slightly melancholic aftertaste. VIDEO

3. Kent – Le temps des âmes
Kent, aka Hervé Despesse, started as an Anglophile punker and now got new inspiration in Berlin, where he performed with pianist Marc Haussmann at a Kreuzberg cabaret. The result is a sober, nearly solemn album, which is sehr gut. VIDEO

2. Alex Beaupain – Après moi le déluge
Beaupin’s fourth album definitely proofs contemporary French chanson is far from dead. Nostalgic realist songs like ‘Grands Soirs’ won’t make history, but are of a timeless beauty. VIDEO

1. Albin de la Simone – Un homme

In the past I thought De la Simone was too self-critial, when he said he could do better. But indeed, his new album is his best – until now. A sympathetic chansonnier, taking refuge from harsh certainties in beautiful compositions. VIDEO

Written by guuzbourg

French girls, singing. No, sighing. Making me sigh. Ah.

This article has 1 comments

  1. SteveinSoCal

    Great and varied list of artists. Love the Carla Bruni album -her best since “Quelqu’un m’a dit” can’t wait to see her in April (along with a Keren Ann gig, it’s going to be a great month…) Think I need to check out both Clarika and Sophie Maurin after these teasers…