Jean-Pierre Ferland

Un Peu Plus Loin

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A transitional album by all means, Un Peu Plus Loin was released a year after Jean-Pierre Ferland's eponymous LP that contained the successful "Je Reviens Chez Nous." It is his final proposition in the style of French singer/songwriters like Jacques Brel and Léo Ferré. In 1970 he would turn to art pop and release the magnificent Jaune. Un Peu Plus Loin contains sparks of ideas, first attempts at a more beat-oriented music, but they simply don't work out. As a paradoxical result, it sounds more conformist than the previous album. Arranger and orchestra leader Claude Denjean is simply incapable of translating Ferland's desires into something acceptable. "Dans Quel Pays" screams for a rock beat, yet gets anything but. The LP revealed one classic song, "Un Peu Plus Loin," a yearning humanist cry of optimism, but it would become a hit only a few years later when singer Ginette Reno included it in her repertoire. Ferland still plays the role of a charmer in "Qu'Êtes-Vous Devenues?" and "Les Femmes de Trente Ans." The latter contains the classic lines: "Women are beautiful at 30/Before, they are cute/After, it's up to them." "La Mort du Cerf d'Amérique" is a pompous orchestral piece, typical of French chanson, while "La Gigue" tries to emulate Gilles Vigneault (one of Ferland's biggest competitors on the folk club circuit at the time) and fails miserably. There is definitely something missing in this album. The singer goes through the motions, as if he were already thinking about how to turn his writing around. Un Peu Plus Loin has not been reissued on CD, but most of the songs are available on a number of best-of collections.

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