11 Songs, 30 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Francoise Hardy came of age in the mid-‘60s as the French equivalent of Marianne Faithfull (or, perhaps, Marianne is the English equivalent to Hardy!) with somber, sentimental folk-based pop songs that were orchestrated to straddle the lines between many genres. Hardy began her career singing in French and eventually recorded a few of her albums in English in hopes of expanding her audience. She has remained a French treasure. 1971’s La Question, is a brilliant French collection that even those non-conversant in French should find quite beguiling. The orchestration is tasteful throughout, never overwhelming the simple, fingerpicked acoustic guitars or Hardy’s own reserved delivery. Her whispers through “Chanson d’O” tip towards romantic drama, but mostly she sings with a haunted quality that’s perfectly reflected in the well-proportioned reverb that shadows her vocals. The eleven tunes skate past quickly and carry a sublime somber tone. The title track, “Viens,” “Le martien” with its mild wind-swept backing, and “Oui je dis adieu” represent the universal beauty of a welcomed pop melody.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Francoise Hardy came of age in the mid-‘60s as the French equivalent of Marianne Faithfull (or, perhaps, Marianne is the English equivalent to Hardy!) with somber, sentimental folk-based pop songs that were orchestrated to straddle the lines between many genres. Hardy began her career singing in French and eventually recorded a few of her albums in English in hopes of expanding her audience. She has remained a French treasure. 1971’s La Question, is a brilliant French collection that even those non-conversant in French should find quite beguiling. The orchestration is tasteful throughout, never overwhelming the simple, fingerpicked acoustic guitars or Hardy’s own reserved delivery. Her whispers through “Chanson d’O” tip towards romantic drama, but mostly she sings with a haunted quality that’s perfectly reflected in the well-proportioned reverb that shadows her vocals. The eleven tunes skate past quickly and carry a sublime somber tone. The title track, “Viens,” “Le martien” with its mild wind-swept backing, and “Oui je dis adieu” represent the universal beauty of a welcomed pop melody.

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