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Francoiz Breut

A L'Aveuglette

(Le Pop; US: Available as import; UK: 22 Feb 2009; France release date: 9 Dec 2008)

Francoiz Breut is one of the reasons I began paying some attention to French pop. On A L’Aveuglette her music brings together three things: the forebrain jolt of guitar rock, an experimentalism that might prompt newcomers to think of Camille, and an atmosphere of the echo-chamber, as if the music is being played in a huge metallic space and reaching us diffusely. The early-goth moodiness of that metal echo gets roughed up by the rock. There’s a nice example of the guitar throughout “Nébuleux Bonhomme”, a nasty surf judder of roadside strings. In “De Fil en Aiguille (Ouvrage de Dames)” she takes the babyish tootle that sometimes appears in French music—one of those cultural things that seems inscrutable if you’re not French—and turns it adult. Every song is different yet every song is her own. Her voice is not powerful in volume but it has a bottom-weighted fullness that makes it sound rich—not sweetly, as honey is rich, but savoury-rich with the richness of good gravy. A savoury voice, a savoury album.

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