Monday, 17 July 2017
Françoise Hardy - s/t (aka La Question) (1971)
La Question in some ways reminds me of my favourite Astrud Gilberto album, I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do - around half an hour long, but managing to cram in a huge emotional weight in its wistful, small-hours ambience and songs about love both unrequited and long gone. In amongst this, there's also an offbeat oddness in songs like Le Martien (French sophistication apparently dictates that alien abductors come bearing not bodily probes, but engagement rings) and in the breathy, wordless evocations of Pauline Réage's Story Of O.
Arrangements throughout this great record are restrained and always perfectly complementary to the track, right through to the closing reimagining of a song by another Brazilian musician, Taiguara. La Question is a huge highlight not just in Françoise Hardy's discography, but in adult French pop in general.