Released a year after the best-selling Abracadabra, which made new inroads into French pop and rock, the typically unpredictable Florent Pagny released Pagny Chante Brel, a tribute the great Belgian singer and songwriter. Rather than reinterpret Brel's music with modern production and instrumentation, Pagny utilized some of the same studios and techniques his hero did with a few exceptions: the Latin percussion in “Au Suivant” being an example. Elsewhere, Pagny’s readings of “La Chanson Jacky,” “Les Bourgeois,” “Orly,” and “Les Vieux” are surprisingly traditional. His voice is half an octave higher than Brel’s, and there is a notable difference in intonation and timbre. He compensated for this by singing live from the studio floor and allowed no overdubbing, giving his vocals an immediate, present, even uncharacteristically raw quality.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek