Coralie Clément Bye Bye Beauté

[Nettwerk; 2005]

Styles: pop music, lo-fi, indie rock
Others: Nina Nastasia, Lydia Lunch, Jaques Brel

First thing to say about Coralie Clément is that she's French. And proud of it (sings in it). Which makes her record distinctive at least to my ears, which don't tend to get much French pop music apart from the Eurovision Song Contest. For an English speaker; its a rare opportunity to listen to music without the crude metaphors of language soiling my experience. What's more, it's a couple years since I was last in Paris, and I can only remember a couple of French words anyway -- clich and bourgeois. For those of you who are not au fait with the French language, in English that translates to clich and bourgeois.

Let's start with those then. Nowhere in Coralie's lyrics that I can notice does she use the word clich (French), however her music is full of clichs (English). Bye Bye Beauté is a Well Trodden Path. Professionals playing licks, competent steals from established styles, high class hotel house band if ever I've stolen their towels. Quite relaxing if played at low volumes in a restaurant of the sort that the bourgeois (either) patronize. Not that I know anything about them, being a lowly bohemian writer-type who has to wrestle pigeons for crumbs of bread in Trafalgar Square as his only source of food most nights. Ahem.

This is Coralie Clément's second album, recorded after taking a three-year break to get to know how music works. It turns out that it works through Melody () Harmony () and Rhythm (). Oh and session-musician-stylization. But the less said about that the better, as it's yet to register its own trademark, and I'm not one to stand in the way of the legislative process.

Apparently, the title track is a sublimely accomplished tribute to the Velvet Underground. Perhaps it doesn't translate well. Lets hope that's it. Otherwise it makes the whole thing profoundly irritating.

Bye Bye Beauté is a record with its own (shared) pre-conceived ideas about beauty, Coralie CAN sing. Which means that she hits the notes that she wants to hit, in accordance with her newfound understanding of Harmony () and occasionally Counterpoint (). Beautiful in exactly the same way the cover of Cosmopolitan is.

So feel ugly.

1. Indecise
2. Gloria
3. L'enfer
4. Avec Ou Sans Moi
5. Un Beau Jour Pour Mourir
6. Beau Fixe
7. Kids (Jeu Du Foulard)
8. L'impasse
9. Et Pourtant
10. Ta Reverence
11. Bye Bye Beaute
12. Epilogue

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