Françoiz Breut

Francoiz Breut

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Songwriter/musician Dominique Ane and singer Francoiz Breut keep things minimal and tense on Breut's debut album. A majority of the songs are sung-spoken in French, so listeners who don't understand French will concentrate on the musicianship and mood. Breut's vocals are mostly quite confident, as she traverses a delicate noir path. Ane accompanies her on sparse guitar, bass, and drums, seemingly more interested in atmosphere than melody. The first half of the album brings to mind influences from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds to Jacques Brel to Tindersticks, as the duo paints wonderful, mournful musical notes in the air. Though the middle section of the album starts to lag and meander, they're treading near beauty again by the final tracks. When Breut sticks to English on "My Wedding Man," one gets the idea that the previous nine songs might work more powerful magic with French listeners. Indeed, if Breut returned to this debut and recorded the material with English lyrics, there's a strong possibility that the album's introspective soul would be exposed. Francoiz Breut is an intriguing debut, though non-Francophiles probably won't feel the album's full impact.

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