Le Pop 5: Les Chansons de la Nouvelle Scène Française
(Le Pop Musik)
US: 25 May 2010
UK: 25 May 2010
The song at the top of the French charts as I’m writing this is “Allez! Ola! Olé!” by Jessy Matador, France’s entry in the 2010 Eurovision Song Competition: big, beaty, and attention-getting, accompanied by a video that’s one half smirk and the other half arse. None of the songs on Le Pop 5 sound like “Allez! Ola! Olé!”. They’re bantam-scale, and perky as witticisms, with a witticism’s artificiality, its air of ease and paradox. The instrumental backing shines like plastic, but the singing takes it one step further and uses café-chanson to imitate the unplastic humane: the singers whisper or purr or chirp through a smile, or, like Albin De La Simone in “Adrienne”, they address you with the simplicity of a colleague. Some of the musicians will be familiar from past Le Pop releases (Mathieu Boogaerts, Dominique A), others are newcomers (Béatrice Martin, aka Coeur de Pirate). A smile-on-your-face kind of album.