Compared to his contemporary, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Trenet remains something of an unknown in the United States. Put it down to Chevalier's acting and comedic skills, because compared to Trenet, he was no singer at all. And not only did Trenet have a wonderful voice, he was also a brilliant pop songwriter. Both skills are displayed to fine effect on this delightful collection, which brings together recordings made between 1938 and 1958 and includes such gems as "Y'A d'la Joie," "La Mer," and the absolutely irresistible "Boum..!" The sound quality on the earliest recordings is surprisingly good, and Trenet's voice betrays little of the effects of age, despite the 20-year span between the earliest and latest recording sessions represented here. This collection doesn't have much competition in the marketplace, but it's difficult to imagine a better introduction to this endlessly charming singer and songwriter. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson