Various Artists

Le Retour de Nos Idoles: Édition 2011

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Released in conjunction with the sold-out show at Quebec's Colisee Pepsi, Le Retour de Nos Idoles is a collection of tracks performed by the 13 artists taking part in the adaptation of the French production Age Tendre et Tetes de Bois. Based on a similar premise to the short-lived TV talent contest Hit Me Baby One More Time (but without the competition element), the nostalgic concept sees artists from the '60s, '70s, and '80s who made an impact in French-speaking Canada return to the stage in an attempt to prove that their possibly forgotten talents are very much still alive. This well-timed compilation largely cherry-picks the most iconic song from each contributor's back catalog, from Claude Barzotti's cabaret-pop ode to his Italian heritage, "Le Rital," to the feel-good calypso of La Compagnie Créole's adopted New Year's Eve anthem, "Ça Fait Rire les Oiseaux," to the playful Gallic brass-fused pop of '60s starlet Jenny Rock's "Douliou Douliou Saint-Tropez." Alongside inclusions from European acts Herbert Léonard ("Pour le Plaisir"), Eurovision winner Isabelle Aubret ("C'est Beau la Vie"), and arguably the most recognizable name here, Greek powerhouse Demis Roussos ("Loin des Yeux, Loin du Coeur"), there are also several native Quebec musicians, including Chantal Pary ("Pour Vivre Ensemble"), balladeer Paolo Noel ("La Chanson du Petit Voilier"), and '60s matinee idol Michel Louvain ("Louise"). Most of the tracks haven't aged particularly well, although Catherine Lara's electro-ballad "Nuit Magique" could quite easily slot comfortably into the current nu-synth scene, but overall, it's still a largely charming collection of songs from a bygone era that both represents the artists at their best and whets the appetite for their comeback shows.

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