Judith Godrèche

Toutes Les Filles Pleurent

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It's only fitting that Judith Godrèche's Toutes les Filles Pleurent begins with a cover of Mary Gauthier's "Our Lady of the Shooting Stars" that almost sounds like a lost Nancy and Lee song, since there's definitely that sort of feeling throughout the album as a whole thanks to Godrèche's partnership here with Benjamin Biolay. The latter contributes a variety of songs and a fair amount of the instruments and singing (though a small clutch of songs come courtesy of Julien Doré, including the concluding "Freaky New Child" bringing in the perhaps now inevitable ukulele). The result throughout is pitched somewhere between memories of classic French pop, the previously alluded to American style of pop melodrama, and -- thanks to the arrangements and other scattered touches throughout -- more than a little indie pop pleasantness. Among the other covers on the album, Pete Yorn's "Friends" makes for an understated anthem of sorts, but Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "How About Thank You" gets a more successful makeover thanks to the gently gospel-sounding backing vocals and overall sense of swoon matching the in-love-with-music sentiments. At its most delicate, on "Je Ne Rentrerai Pas Ce Soir," the restraint of the piano and acoustic guitar arrangement under Godrèche's gentle singing is quite marvelous, while the title track, featuring Biolay in a full duet with Godrèche, also thrills with a smoothly quiet passion punctuated by an excellent musical break in the arrangement. Other songs like Wallis Bird's "Mile of Smiles" are more pleasantly handled rather than noticeably so, but the whole is a reasonably engaging, understated treat.

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