The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review, March 1, 2001

The second disc commemorates 15 years of song on the Ambiances magnétiques label. Chante! collects 18 previously released tracks by the likes of Diane Labrosse, Nathalie Derome, Michel F Côté, René Lussier, Papa Boa, Les Granules and a host of others who have demonstrated that the avant-garde and traditional songwriting have ample room in which to mingle. The compilation is an eclectic mix of styles and genres (feel free to put an presumptuous “avant-" in front of any the following terms: rockabilly, popular, jazz, big band, blues… you name it and it’s here). Peculiar, funny and spirited, this is a vibrant compilation that will surely be welcome by anyone interested in turning songwriting traditions on their heads.

NB: Unfortunately, the only problem with both of these releases is the lack of translations. Of course, providing a translation might defeat the purpose of most of this music, but at least some context would have helped a listener like me, whose french language skills are lacking the versatility and fluency necessary to understand the compressed idiom of these lyrics. The lyrics obviously pique my curiosity and so I end up spending half my day wrestling with what little french I know, studiously bent over my dictionaries. That being said, much of this music will be lost on those lacking a working knowledge of french, so buyers beware.

Peculiar, funny and spirited, this is a vibrant compilation that will surely be welcome by anyone interested in turning songwriting traditions on their heads.

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