(né/née en 1944)
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Franse chansons - Verschenen op 6 april 2018 | Parlophone France
Françoise Hardy is a pop survivor. As she admitted herself, her 2012 album L’Amour Fou sounded the death knell of a prolific 50-year career. But after listening completely by chance to a song of Finnish band Poets of the fall, she decided to adapt it in French and that’s how this new album adventure all started. The singer of Message personnel has always dressed up her albums with patchy elements from all of sorts of collaborations (both for the music and lyrics), and this Personne d’autre is no exception to the rule. A personality seems to stand out, and that’s Erick Benzi, who composed nine songs on this album. He’s also the author behind most arrangements. In addition to Benzi, the credits feature La Grande Sophie, Thierry Stremler and… Michel Berger (for the cover of Seras-tu là?). Unsurprisingly Personne d’autre specifically focuses on death, with which Françoise Hardy had a close encounter in the middle of the 2010s. But rather than fearing it, the singer looks at death straight in the eyes, even considering it with a form of lightness, like in the counting rhyme Trois petits tours – the only perky track on the album. But aside from this surprising song, the opus seems like a sweet purgatory, in which atonement appears to be a step more pleasant than painful. This flawless harmony comes first and foremost from the magnificent melodies that enrich each song: in the tender lullaby Dors mon ange, the melancholic Personne d’autre or the elegant waltz Quel Dommage, Françoise Hardy shows once again her attraction for beautiful and noble melodies. At times, deadly metaphors are not the most subtle, like in the lyrics of Train Spécial, but it's arrangements are deliciously 80s. Same goes for the strong echo that underlies her voice here and there, transforming her de facto into an angelic figure rising into heaven. But overall, the listener will be seduced by the gracious serenity of what − from all angles − sure seems like a farewell album. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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