Pierre de Gaillande

Bad Reputation: Pierre De Gaillande Sings Georges Brassens

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Georges Brassens was a French singer/songwriter, sort of Jacques Brel before there was Brel, Serge Gainsbourg before Gainsbourg existed. Anarchic, and blessed with a devastating, deflating wit, his music never traveled like the others. Pierre de Gaillande is a former American indie kid, half French, who rediscovered his passion for Brassens and has made this labor of love, with new translations and new arrangements of the material. It's delightful stuff, and de Gaillande has brought everything perfectly alive, airing Brassens' moral sketches with real joy, and exposing listeners to a remarkable composer. Mixing instruments like guitar, charango, clarinet, and lap steel is inspired, since it doesn't root the music in any special tradition. There are touches of jazz, and it's undoubtedly French chanson at its root. It's all delightfully cynical and world-weary, with plenty of wit. Most of all, it makes you hope that there are more Brassens songs that de Gaillande can record.

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