maandag 21 december 2009

Ten Down: Les 10 Plus Mauvais Albums de la Décennie

We gathered the best French albums of the decade a few weeks ago, but left out the duds. Anyway, John Cleese once claimed that it’s simply wrong to be French, and here’s ten good (and of course utterly impartial) reasons for that, listening-wise:

Camille – Le Fil (2005)
Qu’est-ce que c’est? Bobby McFerrin without cojones? Edith Piaf on nitrous oxide? In any case, a highly unenjoyable mixture of priggish vocal acrobatics, show-offy pseudo art, and Gallic chichi r&b. Ta douleur? Exactement.

Emilie Simon – The Big Machine (2009)
This hideous contraption is an apparatus similar to those in SAW III, only directly aimed at your inner ear: After Björkification, Emilie underwent (Kate) Bushization, electro style. Feels like clubbing at Guantanamo Bay.

Carla Bruni – Comme si de rien n’était (2008)
The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie: Music that would never dare to disturb or touch, full of amazement about why those banlieue kids never went to a Swiss boarding school. There’s a reason why they always play Carla (pictured above next to the hat of the month) at the pedicure studio next door.

Alain Bashung – Bleu Pétrole (2008)
A spectacularly tedious malheur & tristesse album amalgamating the spirit of thousands of dreadful American singer/ songwriter numbers – if you’re looking for Tom Waits’ attitude paired with Michel Sardou bathos, a surefire winner.

Keren Ann – Same (2007)
Keren Ann in English sounds like Velvet Underground in drag, combined with the lyrics of a 12-year-old; everything else is flagrantly cribbed from Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval et al. 45 min of heard-it-all-before, predictable and boring.

Benjamin Biolay/ Chiara Mastroianni – Home (2004)
Love is blind, and if Biolay’s honeymoon was as exciting as these recordings ... well, foreshadowing a premature case of ennui conjugale, it won’t get more limp, lukewarm and uninspired like this.

Francoise Hardy – Parenthèses (2006)
Like to cuddle with Granny? Hardy has always been the least sexy of all French songbirds, and these duets with Delon, Biolay et cetera are her take on old age sensuality, including a sundowner cocktail with ... Julio Iglesias!

Nouvelle Vague – Bande à part (2006)
Punk & New Wave classics done bossa reggae cutie style – nifty concept, but how often you want to hear the same old joke again?

Francoiz Breut – À l’aveuglette (2008)
Francoiz is wonderfully introvert, empathetic, and sensitive, at least in the mind of introvert and sensitive French language students still looking for a nice lay. Earnest and heartfelt indie pop without any humour or the slightest idea of a catchy song.

Coralie Clément – Toystore (2008)
Certainly not one of the worst French records of the decade. But compared to Coralie’s previous efforts, an uneven mix of shallow melodies without texture or direction: a fruitless try to please everyone, and a painful waste of talent.


10 opmerkingen:

  1. I laughed, but I don't agree. I think Le Fil is a fantastic album, and so is HOME by Ben and Chiara. You're way to harsh on Keren Ann and sweet Francoiz.

    In my top ten, I'd put Carla Bruni's way too pretentious No Promises, Elli by Elli Medeiros, that cover album by Vincent Delerm and that soulalbum by Miss Dominique. But I tend to forget the shitty French albums I heard. Oh well. Always remember: opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one.

  2. Bleu Pétrole dans les plus mauvais albums francophones de la décennie? I'm surprised: I really loved that one, and still do. Maybe I was the only one? No, most critiques I've found seems to agree that it's un album vraiment pas mal du tout...






  3. quoi?! Le Fil est excellente!! 'Ta Douleur,' 'Au Port'...magnifique.

  4. Good to see you are not wasting time with all that faux bonhomie at Christmas. Ouch.

    Anyone for a lump of coal?

  5. bleu pétrole, il est fantastique cet album, qui a bu ?

  6. The hilarious (or sad?) picture coming with your post says it all: the public demasqué of Carla Bruni. Unlike Guuzbourg I also think of 'Comme Si De Rien N'etait' as a redundant album that not even had a spark of the excitement her foregoing albums had. Instead of that I did like No Promises a lot. But well, as said, I do have an asshole too.

  7. I disagree about Le Fil and Toystore..Anyway, merry christmas to you all.

  8. Le Fil de Camille, quel album, que du plaisir ! C'est une blague ce topdown !

  9. The Breut album is great...doesn't belong in this list! Ugh

  10. Bashung doit faire des loopings dans son cercueil!
    Not mastering the french language as a native "francophone" is clearly a major barrier to understanding the beauty and intensity of Bashung's "Bleu Petrol", which is clearly your case, dear blogger. Intensity which came to a climax during his last tour. Rest in peace Alain...your real fans DO appreciate your music.