Vingt a Trente Mille Jours
It has often been said that the French cannot play rock music. Maybe it’s their language or maybe something in the gene pool, whatever. While this disc may not provide any evidence to the contrary, it does demonstrate the French can perform elegant, melodic music that is full of passion. On this disc, Francoiz Breut and her husband/partner, Dominic A, craft a bewitching album with soaring melodies, and immaculate arrangements. The arrangements are so flawless and they recall the attention to detail that Brian Wilson used so lavishly in the sixties. A vibraphone appears and then disappears, or strings will suddenly join in and mirror the longing in her voice and you just sit there, amazed.
The opening track, “Derriere le Grand Filtre,” has a sense of urgency with a minimalist accompaniment. This is immediately followed by “Si Tu Disais,” a track with a string section that evokes a sense of poignancy and loss and tugs imperceptibly on your heart strings. After that, there is “L’Affaire D’Un Jour.” A wistful recollection of a love whose time has passed and a song that ends with Francoiz Breut singing like a siren, longingly from the rocks. On one of the best tracks, “L’Origine Du Monde,” I swear I can hear her smile as she sings. The music is the perfect song to play loud as you cruise to the beach with the top down and the windows open. I don’t know what she’s saying, but the fuzzed out guitar and the snap of the drums is pure bubblegum heaven.
Undeniably, this is an unexpected treat sure to apply to any music fan with a love for indie, pop, the music of the Tindersticks, or sixties bubblegum music. More than the sum of those disparate references, this album will not leave your player for days, if ever. Don’t let the fact that she’s singing in French deter you, because it doesn’t matter. This album will grab you.