Various Artists album




So F resThe French have a way of brushing more lightly against the world than other races. They favour wit over broader comedy, elegance in aesthetics and aerated foods like souffle and choux pastry. French music ranges from delicate 18th-century minuets to the sonic massage of accordion waltzes, Satie’s humour and naïve beauty and more recently an infatuation with frivolous techno. While some songs in this compilation (drawing on the last decade of French pop releases) could have come from either side of the Atlantic or the Antipodes, many more are distinctively French, a routine trait being that you barely feel the fine hairs in your ears being ruffled.

You can enjoy the blitheness of Barbara Carlotti and Cvantez, the dance beats of General Elektriks or the froth of Jeremie Kisling and Brigitte. But then Feloche flirts with enigma, Anis and Mansfield.TYA can excavate something of the drama of the Brel/Piaf cabaret tradition and Laetitia Sheriff is among those blessed with an effective weapon in any language: a striking voice. The ideal wine match would be Beaujolais.