France Gall

France Gall, Vol. 4: Bebe Requin

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The final part of the four-disc retrospective of Gall's '60s Polydor material is mostly devoted to 1967 recordings, although there are four tracks from 1968. This period found her sound becoming slightly, though only slightly, more adult and sophisticated, and while this wasn't quite as memorable as her best output, the worst of it wasn't nearly as bad as her worst previous efforts. She takes on some odd Eastern-tinged tunes with "Nefertiti" (written by Serge Gainsbourg) and "Chanson Indienne"; "Chanson Pour Que Tu M'aimes Un Peu" finds her in an uncommonly serious folk-rock mood; "Dady Da Da" is an incessantly pounding number with echoes of late-'60s British pop-mod-psych in the production; "Made in France" is another modish if somewhat frivolous outing. The standout performance, though, is "Le Temps Du Tempo," a hard-driving jazz-popper in which Gall switches from low sultry delivery of the first lines to unexpectedly rapid-fire, almost violent bursts of high scatting. More than any other of Gall's '60s tracks, this demonstrates that she had enough ability to transcend her lightweight, if fun, girly-pop image to establish herself as a respectable, if idiosyncratic, jazz singer had she so desired. Only three of the 17 songs here, by the way, show up on the Poupee de Son best-of.

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