We’re making a list, we’re checking it twice (or more), and then we have the best French-language albums of the year. I asked you to send me lists too, and I will post them the upcoming days. Maks and Sky will post their own lists.
1. Elodie Frégé – La fille d’après-midi. I saw Elodie acting in Ozon’s new movie Potiche, playing the young version of Catherine Deneuve’s character and seducing a lawyer in her tight black dress, black stockings and suspenders. She doesn’t speak in the film, but with all that beauty, that isn’t really necessary. But when she does use her voice, redheaded beauty Elodie is even more seductive. See the grand video for the title track of her third album. Listen to her songs about an affair to remember. The memory lasts a lifetime.
2. Lafille -Toute Attaché(e). An album for the yearlists, I predicted in May. And surely it popped up in several lists. With gothic undertones, a healthy Gainsbourg-obsession, two phenomenal closing tracks, a husky voice and one English track that I still don’t like (though I’m a minority), Lafille was the revelation of 2010. See an acoustic session here.
3. ZAZ -ZAZ. Streetwise singer who’s heavily influenced by Piaf and Reinhardt, thus proving that classic chanson still works if you really put your heart ‘n soul in it. See Je veux.
4. Katel – Décorum. Gothrocking fille taking it all up to eleven. Décorum is the best album Mylene Farmer never made. Katel’s duet with Jeanne Cherhal beats any song on Cherhal’s own album. See the title track here.
5. Babet – Piano Monstre. I feel butterflies in my belly when Elizabeth Maistre sings. Sunny, highly imaginative songs. She should refrain from singing in English, but I’m of the forgiving kind. See Je pense à nous here.
1. Bertrand Belin – Hypernuit. No competition. Delicately beautiful. Video.
2. Bastien Lallemant – Le verger. Sex, death, revenge, cruelty to children, with added desert dust. See here.
3. Robin Leduc – Hors-pistes. Very versatile (folk, afrobeat, rock), very good. One of the best songs I heard all year is this.
4. Karkwa – Les chemins de verre. Criminally neglected outside Canada, Karkwa gives Radiohead a run for their money. Video.
5. Ben L’Oncle Soul – Ben L’Oncle Soul. Cheating just a little, ’cause not all songs are in French. Still, this is how Otis would’ve sounded, had he been from Tours. Great session here.