Most of the innumerable Françoise Hardy compilations focus on just one phase of her career (most often, though not always, the early to mid-'60s). En Resume is an unusual exception to the trend, in that its 21 tracks do indeed cover the first three decades of her discography, from her debut 1962 hit, "Tous les Garcons et les Filles," to 1995's "Revenge of the Flowers" (which she co-wrote with Malcolm McLaren and others). As a listening pleasure, however, it wouldn't quite, or even nearly, rate as the best way to appreciate Hardy's artistic contributions, in much the same way a 20-track David Bowie compilation drawing from all junctures of his career wouldn't contain his best music. For Hardy not only changed styles quite often from the 1960s to the 1990s, she also experienced a severe dip in quality from the mid-'70s onward, a decline that wasn't arrested until the 1990s. And while the first 40 percent or so of this disc is indeed largely excellent -- including such early classics as "Le Temps de L'Amour," "Mon Amie la Rose," "All Over the World," and "La Question" -- it hits a trough around the mid-'70s. Most of the rest of the disc finds her immersing herself deeper into bland Continental pop with heavy overtones of easy listening, disco, and Euro-dance, and, sadly, her vocals at these points were often no more imaginative than the material. Many French listeners might disagree with that evaluation, as she has remained popular in her native land, but most non-French fans will be disappointed by the high concentration of later songs. The only two cuts from the 1990s, however, aren't bad, with 1992's "Si Ca Fait Mal" marking a move toward relatively straightforward modern rock and back to her trademark breathy vocal style, and "Revenge of the Flowers" showing some influence from both electro-pop and vintage girl group sounds.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger