Sylvester Hoogmoed, longtime FOFS and host of the excellent Het Chanson on Dutch Concertzender and writer of a book on singer Ramses Shaffy, provided his yearlist:

It was not a very lively year for French chanson. Death anniversaries of Brassens (1981), Gainsbourg (1991), Montand (1991) and Bécaud (2001) were commemorated with the usual tributes. At 87, Charles Aznavour was still going strong, with a series of concerts and his 57th album (not counting the ones in English and other languages). Brigitte Fontaine (72), Johnny Hallyday (67), Alain Souchon (66), Julien Clerc (64) launched not too boring cd’s with one or two nice nouveautés. Likewise did Thomas Dutronc – the son of Jacques (68) and La Hardy (67). Têtes Raides on their excellent new album invited Jeanne Moreau (83) to resume her singing-career after some 30 years. In August Allain Leprest (57) died after decades of obscure brilliance. Only two months earlier he had recorded ‘Leprest symphonique’, which hopefully will bring some fame at last – posthumously.
Luckily there were Juliette, Thomas Fersen and Les Ogres de Barback to shake things up in 2011, as did some filles sourires, In particular I liked the albums of L (Raphaële Lannadère), Brigitte Boisjoli, Luce, Liz Cherhal and Stéphanie Crayencour – second cousin of Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987).

01 Les Ogres de Barback – Comment je suis devenu voyageur
Jolly, multi-instrumental, multi-cultural. Favourite track: Graine de brigand

02 Têtes Raides – L’an demain
The spirit of Brel, combined with Mano Negra. Favourite track: Emma (featuring Jeanne Moreau)

03 L – Initiale
Dreamy beauty. Favourite tracks: Mes lèvres, Chapeau rouge, Mescaline

04 Juliette – No parano
Qualité engagé and humorous. Favourite tracks: Dans ma rue, Les dessous chics, Rue Roger Salengro

05 Allain Leprest – Leprest symphonique
Classical poète maudit, dished up with a classical orchestra. Favourite tracks: Il pleut sur la mer, Nu

06 Thomas Fersen – Je suis au paradis
Nice voice, singing original ironic lyrics. Favourite track: Félix, J’suis mort, La balafré

07 Luce – Première phalange
Cheerful pop-chanson, excellent to start the day with. Favourite tracks: La symphonie d’Alzheimer, J’me fume, J’aime la pluie

08 Liz Cherhal – Il est arrivé quelque chose
Every song she writes is good, like the accordion she plays (and the fluit and the piano). Favourite tracks: Un matin, Quand je regarde la mer, Mes bretelles et mes hublots, Le poids des fantômes. (Listen on Spotify, here)

09 Brigitte Boisjoli – Fruits défendus
Pop music rather than chanson, but too good to ignore, even for me. Favourite tracks: Le temps de partir, Fruits défendus

10 Stéphanie Crayencour – La garçonnière
Unpretentiously charming. Favourite tracks: Charleston d’insomnie, Petite chanson pour te laguer, Les miettes

Written by guuzbourg

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

This article has 1 comments

  1. JohnHoldenMcGrath

    Nice to see Stéphanie Crayencour ‘La garçonnière’ getting a mention, contains my fille track of the year, ‘Rhododendron’. Superb version with Saule and the rhythm section from Suarez: