Robert Charlebois

Robert Charlebois, Vol. 2

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Robert Charlebois' second album timidly begins to move outside of the French singer/songwriter style that marked his first years. Arranger and bandleader François Cousineau respects the jazz feel established by Paul de Margerie on the first album. "Les Ouaouarons," "Ta Chambre," and "Monument National" follow the Jacques Brel-Félix Leclerc tradition and are mostly inconsequential. More interesting is "Chanson Pour Mouffe," mainly because it will be the starting point for a series of songs ("Autre Chanson pour Mouffe," "Valentin pour Mouffe") dedicated to the singer's companion and inspiration. The prize for the strangest idea goes to "Mais Rappelle-Toi, Barbarella," which combines a pastiche of Jacques Prévert's poem "Barbara" with the science-fiction imagery of the Barbarella comic series. Opening the album, "Divertimento" faintly announces Charlebois' growing interest in rock music, but from this small premise one could not have guessed the transformation he would undergo two years later. Like his first album, Robert Charlebois, Vol. 2 has little to offer to the casual fan, especially since none of these songs would survive in the singer's repertoire. Only completists or fans of French chanson will want this album, which is badly recorded (and badly remastered for the CD reissue).

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