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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Various Artists

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published March 16, 2007

Putumayo Presents Paris
Putumayo 249

FRANCE

More albums have been devoted to Paris and its songs than any other city, but this compilation doesn’t follow in that tradition. The disc isn’t a tribute to the “City of Lights” as such, but focuses more specifically on an eclectic nouvelle scène that just happens to be very popular in Paris at this time. While the artists follow in the footsteps of past masters like Brassens, Brel and Gainsbourg, most of them also seem enamored of pop genres from Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean. A few of these singers have gotten some recognition in North America (Keren Ann, Paris Combo, Carla Bruni) while some others have had considerable success (Tryo) or received critical acclaim (Thomas Fersen, Aldebert) in France. While the artists present are obviously not fully representative of the new generation of Parisian singers, the consistency and cohesion of the disc’s selections makes for an engaging listen.