Various Artists: Le Pop 5: Les Chansons de la Nouvelle Scène Française
None of the songs on Le Pop 5 sound like "Allez! Ola! Olé!"
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.