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Friday, 23 September 2011

Friday's French music break - Jean-Louis Aubert, "Roc éclair"

Friday's French music break this week isn't just one song. It's an entire album.

Little surprise really as Jean-Louis Aubert's "Roc éclair" is just sublime.

Jean-Louis Aubert (screenshot from appearance on France 2's On n'est pas couché)

You could choose any track from the album released in 2010 and lose yourself in both the poetry of the lyrics and the magic of the music.

Aubert is perhaps something of an acquired taste as, if you were being unkind, you might describe his voice as being one only a mother could love - and then only if she were tone deaf!

It's not true though and it hasn't stopped Jean-Louis Aubert from success over the years because, and it has to be admitted, there's a quality to his singing and songs that just...well fits.

His voice is typically French, if you will, in that it's not quite in tune but somehow is at the same time - entirely appropriate for a rocker.

Add to that the fact that he can write a pretty fair tune and compose poetical lyrics, and you'll understand why he has had such a long and successful career.

Now those of you of a certain age and with an interest in French music might just be familiar with the name.

Aubert was the front man for Téléphone, the French rock group formed in the 1970s and whose many, many hits included "Ça c'est vraiment toi", "Un autre monde", "New York avec toi", "La bombe humaine", "Cendrillon" and the list continues.

Téléphone were enormous in France and helped shape, what was until their arrival in 1976, a pretty non-existant home-grown rock scene.

They split in 1986.

But back to Aubert and the album "Roc éclair".

It was written and recorded last year after the death of his father.

"When I write, it comes almost automatically," he says on his official website.

"But this album was really special; as if I were looking over my shoulder as I wrote," he continues.

"I had also lost several close friends and even though I wasn't depressed or in the doldrums I cried a lot.

"I felt some very deep emotions, including joy and that's the meaning in the title of the album; there exists a chiaroscuro that gives faith in life."

Ahem. Remember he is a poet.

Enough of the words though. Check out his official website if you want to know more about him and there's also an excellent short bio (in English) on Radio France Internationale's site.

For the moment, here are just three tracks from the album, each of them exquisite.


"Maintenant je reviens"

"Demain sera parfait"

"Puisses tu"


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