Various Artists

Le Pop 7

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AllMusic Review by

Though this is the seventh compilation in the Le Pop Musik label's series celebrating new French performers of the 21st century, the more important number is ten, since this is a tenth anniversary celebration by the label as well. With no single through-line beyond singing in French and a variety of appreciations for pop impulses of earlier times -- generally speaking between the 1960s and the 1980s -- it's an often engaging collection. As good a representative track as any is Françoiz Breut's "Michka Soka," which busts out a very 1985-era Cure/New Order guitar and bass break and sound while adding in fingersnaps for good measure. Brigitte's "Bailez-Vous" starts things off with a stark guitar-jazz-pop shimmy, very 1960s-looking but not quite any one thing -- the song's crisp echoes are its own beast. L's "Jalouse" is similarly inclined, maybe a little more lush and swoony and elegant, while Mathieu Boogaerts' contribution is a piano-led organ beat rumination. Thierry Stremler's effort is a bit of coffeehouse folk trip-hop, but it's all easygoing enough and with a nice chorus, but Barbara Carlotti's "Quatorze Ans" is something else again, twangy driving new wave sass with a great echoed chorus and keyboard part. Fredda's "Pas de Jour" has some nice harmonizing. Lescop's "La Forêt" is all crisp rhythm clicks and punch, so again a bit of new wave suaveness, but in a cool, sharp way, with a nice twist and a great guitar break or two. Liza Manili has a nicely clean rocked-up effort, possessing a focus that's definitely a hallmark of the performances, while Salome Leclerc's "Partir Ensemble" has a nice acoustic drive and kick, something that almost feels very 1990s in turn, in an indie pop fashion.

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