Following 2010's C'est Chic! French Girl Singers of the 1960s is a second volume of mostly French-sung pop from the era of the Ye-Ye girls. The 24 tracks include contributions from some of the most recognizable names of the genre, with standout tunes from legends like Françoise Hardy and France Gall, side tracks from actor/singers Brigitte Bardot and Anna Karina, and stellar sounds from lesser known names like Gillian Hills. The different sides of the Ye-Ye girl sound get equal coverage on Tres Chic. A smoky after-hours vibe comes through on tracks like France Gall's "Jazz a Go Go" and Delphine's "La Fermeture-Eclair," while more upbeat, zippy pop styles are represented with Annie Philippe's bounding "On M'a Toujours Dit," Pussycat's "Hymne au Soleil," and much of the rest of the compilation. A few songs sung in English show up as well, including "Tomorrow Is Another Day" by the U.K.-raised Gillian Hills, and the goofy, hipster bedhead of "7 AM," in which Jacqueline Taieb rustles through a groggy morning in a deep American accent. "Tut, Tut, Tut, Tut," yet another selection from Gillian Hills, also highlights the humorous side of French pop, building a cover of U.S. soul group the Lollipop's "Busy Signal" around an overly loud deadpan "tut, tut, tut" replicating the sound of a busy land line. Pretty much completely free of filler, Tres Chic is a thoughtfully researched and curated cache of French pop, digging deeper below the surface than most collections by looking beyond just the biggest names to reveal some deeper cuts.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas