Jean-Pierre Ferland

Jean-Pierre Ferland [1968]

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Recorded in Paris and released in 1968, this eponymous LP was instrumental in helping Jean-Pierre Ferland break through the folk cabaret circuit and reach a wider audience, mostly thanks to the song "Je Reviens Chez Nous" (I Am Coming Home), which quickly became inevitable in any Quebec songbook and even got good attention in France. The album was orchestrated by Claude Denjean, famous for his arrangements for Charles Aznavour. Ferland taps into the tradition of Léo Ferré and Jacques Brel, but adds his personal charm and his desire to seduce. The best songs are his tender ballads and naughty love songs: "Je Reviens Chez Nous" (with surprising Greek overtones), "Si Je Savais Parler aux Femmes" ("If I knew how to talk to women," says the man whose wife left him), and "Marie-Claire" (a precocious girl). On the other hand, Ferland also tries to break out of the mold and proposes interesting experiments that can be seen as the premises of his seminal album Jaune. "Je le Sais" alternates between sweet and sour moods represented by 3/4 and 2/2 time signatures. More importantly, "L'Assassin Mondain" and "Le Cauchemar" pair a monologue with a very dark song derived from Félix Leclerc's "La Chanson du Pharmacien," a piece where atmosphere wins over melody. The piano is texturally atonal, the lyrics jump over Parisian French and a more French-Canadian idiom, revealing Ferland's origins for the first and only time. Most of these songs have been reissued separately in various collections, but the album itself has not been available for a long time.

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