Françoise Hardy

Et Si Je M'en Vais Avant Toi

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One of her weaker efforts, frequently characterized by a happy-go-lucky, pedestrian country-blues flavor. It's nice to know that she was keeping her ears open to outside influences. Yet we Yankees who love Francoise listen to her, at least in part, because of her oh-so-very French qualities. If you want to hear lame L.A.-style early '70s mellow rock, there are plenty of alternatives to turn to before you head for the import bins. It would be nice to lay the blame with some wrongheaded producer, but actually Hardy wrote almost all of the material herself. Yet it's not entirely dismissable. The most pop-oriented productions--"Carfard," the title track, and the gorgeous "Bowm Bowm Bowm"--are delicately tuneful and sensitively performed, even if they're incongruous with the rest of the album.

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