Vanessa Paradis

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Having scored a pan-European smash three years earlier with her debut single, "Joe le Taxi," including nearly three months at the top of the charts in her native France, Vanessa Paradis reunited with producer Franck Langolff for this follow-up album. The legendary Serge Gainsbourg provided lyrics, but the results are hardly up to the treatments given his material by Jane Birkin. Paradis' vocals are wispy and pleasant enough, but the music is strictly pedestrian, slick dance-pop on tracks such as "Au Charme Non Plus" and "Amour Jamais." There's even a bit of grinding guitar bolstering "L'Amour en Soi," which seems blandly aimed at replicating Janet Jackson's "Black Cat." Her reading of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" has a quirky charm to it; although hardly making anyone forget the original, it wisely eschews the processed feel of the rest of the album and therefore stands out.

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