Véronique Sanson

Les Plus Belles Chansons, Vol. 1

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Like a moodier Elton John, Veronique Sanson has been the French alternative to the British rocker since the '70s. The resemblances are striking, which is why Les Plus Belles Chansons De is a very interesting album. Although the singer/songwriter format that the album follows may be almost too grounded in the time it comes from, the songs are memorable pop anthems in the same vein as John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road period. Sanson's worst enemy is her voice, which is not bad but rather bland when held up against the arrangements. For example, the otherwise excellent "Vancouver" moves down a notch because the dramatic arrangement is way too much for her voice. But then a song like "Bernard's Song" survives because she applies heavy production to the vocals. Despite that minor complaint, this is some of the best mainstream rock that France had to offer at the time, and fans of piano rock from the '70s should give this talented songwriter a listen.

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