“Melancholy” is supposed to be the theme here – “L’Ancolie (Columbine in English) grows in the gardens of melancholy” they say, explaining the title – but her voice has too much of a hydrogen updrift at the ends of lines: she sounds secretly blissful. Not hugely explosively blissful, just blissful in a private way, blissful in the way that Le Pop’s musicians are usually blissful, all ballastless and bouyant, even when her collaborator, the guitarist Mocke, from Holden, wants to invade “Il Ne Me Reste” with a dark swampy clang. He can’t do it, the song resists him. The clang is repelled. Fredda had a slight international hit with “Barry White” from her first album, 2008’s Toutes Mes Aventures and to her credit she hasn’t turned out more of the same: the collaboration with Mocke has made her slower and calmer, there’s no longer that feeling, as on Aventures, that she needs to throw a complexity of musical resources into a song: she relaxes now, she simmers down, the album is a dandling duet.
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// Notes from the Road
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