Thankfully, the latest instalment of the So Frenchy, So Chic Alliance Francaise French film festival soundtrack eschews Europop’s artificial sweetener-and-processed-cheese blend, and the deranged chaos of a Parisian roundabout. Claire Denamur’s Bang Bang Bang infuses Go-Gos quality pop with Bardot-esque smoky feminine charm, Ornette’s Crazy slides across the dance floor with the smug aplomb only few cultures truly comprehend, Nadeah’s Exterminateur is 1920s hedonism in its 21st century guise and The Dø’s Gonna Be Sick waves a flaming torch in the bewildered faces of a thousand tragic Idol wannabes – and Meringue, Alcohol and Us (Black Eye Blues) just about sums up everything good, bad and indifferent in the modern French state.
On the second disc Camille’s Mars Is No Fun offers a whimsical, smoky pop journey into galactic escapism, Les Zoufris Maracas’ Et Ta Mere is cocktail cool Flamenco pop, Mariama’s No Way is Morricone in sassy mode, Daphne’s L’Homme A La Peau Musicale looks you in the eye across a crowded bar and dares you make the first move and We Were Evergreen’s Vintage Car might be The Clean on sabbatical in Nice.
There are those who chastise the French for their perceived cultural arrogance – but sometimes arrogance is entirely justified.
BY ARNAND RICHELIEU
Best Track: Bang, Bang, Bang
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: RED WINE, CURED MEAT, SMELLY CHEESE
In A Word: French, obviously