Toward the top of my favorite albums of the decade are the two fairly astonishing solo albums by French singer Coralie Clement. The two albums, 2001's SALLE DES PAS PERDUS and 2005's BYE BYE BEAUTE, are both collaborative efforts between Coralie and her incredibly talented brother Benjamin Biolay and they are major works. At times harking back to Coralie's biggest inspirations like Francoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg, yet always sounding totally fresh and unique, these two records are unfortunately becoming harder and harder to find in the States. Even more disconcerting is the fact that Clement's official website disappeared earlier this year and her MySpace page is now listing her next album as not coming out till late 2008.
Perhaps it shouldn't be disconcerting for an artist to take their time in crafting their next work but the disappearance of her official site had me more more than a little concerned for the much anticipated third album, which will apparently be called TOY STORE.
SALLE DES PAS PERDUS is a remarkable debut that features a beguiling mix of samba, jazzy pop and some of the sweetest vocals of the decade. The follow up BYE BYE BEAUTE is a much more plugged in electric offering that is perhaps even more rewarding, with the essential Mojo magazine placed it near the top of their 2005 best albums of the year issue.
This decade has been a remarkably fruitful one for French music and I am thinking of doing some major pieces on some of my favorites from the past five years. Right now I just wanted to recommend both of Clement's fascinating records and say how much I am looking forward to the new one. Apparently both albums have slipped out of print in the States but used copies are available and I highly recommend snatching them up if you can track them down. Coralie's MySpace lists the anticipated release date of new album as the Fall of 08.