Posted: October 6th, 2008
â€œFor Francoise Hardy, at the Seineâ€™s edge…â€
—Bob Dylan, Another Side Of Bob Dylan
Unlike escargots, beautiful French women are not an acquired taste, especially when they can sing. A melancholy and sensual chanteuse, Francoise Hardy made a name for herself crafting lush love songs of great sophistication. Often characterized as aloof, the quietly self-possessed Hardy never allowed herself to be marketed on her abundant sex appeal. Disregarding her looks, she built a following strictly on the strength of her singing and songwriting talents. Although released in 1971, La Question endures as her most spare and seductive album. â€œViensâ€ opens the record with a dramatic flair designed to grab the listenerâ€™s attention. The title track follows, establishing the albumâ€™s elegant dreamlike mood. On such songs as â€œChanson Dâ€™O,â€ â€œMer,â€ and â€œDoigts,â€ Francoiseâ€™s breathy voice lulls you deeper into a deliciously languid state.
The mysterious Tuca (aka Valeniza Zagni da Silva) accompanies Hardy on acoustic guitar, co-arranging and co-writing most of the songs. Although largely unknown, Tuca was a talented musician who released two obscure albums in her native Brazil, Tuca and Dracula, I Love You, both of which remain impossible to find. Tuca’s chararacteristically delicate and uncluttered arrangements help define La Question, with her subtle touches of bass and strings beautifully accentuating Francoiseâ€™s sultry vocals. In several places, Hardy substitutes melodic humming in place of singing, wordlessly articulating the emotional essence of the song. â€œBati Mon Nidâ€ features a particularly catchy chorus of â€œla-la-la-la-la’s,â€ and the record ends with another refrain of “la-la-laâ€ on â€œReve.â€ A timelessly romantic album overflowing with after-hours ambience, this is the perfect disc to put on when snuggling close to the one you love.
- FranÃ§oise Hardy – Vocals
- Tuca – Acoustic Guitar, Co-arranger
- Raymond Donnez – Arranger
- Francis Moze – Bass
- Viens (Bilat/Tuca) – 2:15
- Question (Hardy/Tuca) – 3:02
- Meme Sous la Pluie (du Pac/Tuca) – 2:05
- Chanson d’O (Tuca) – 3:16
- Le Martien (Gerald/Tuca) – 2:48
- Mer (Hardy/Tuca) – 2:07
- Oui Je Dis Adieu (Hardy/Tuca) – 3:55
- Doigts (Hardy) – 1:45
- La Maison (G.G./Tuca) – 2:45
- Si Mi Caballero (Gerald/Tuca) – 3:05
- Bati Mon Nid (Gerald/Tuca) – 2:55
- Reve (Hardy/Taiguara) – 3:02
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