The best French records of the decade


On the original version of Under Paris Skies, I published, in the end of 2009, a list I made with the top 10 records of the decade. Since I didn’t manage to put it in order, I decided that the list would follow chronological order, since all the records bellow are so amazing.

As you are going to notice, the list features mostly the artists from the nouvelle scène française, since I think they were the real stars of the decade when it comes to French music.

Henri Salvador :: Chambre avec Vue (2000)

The decade started great with this gorgeous record by Henri Salvador. Sensing the new generation coming, Salvador was smart enough to invite some of the new blood to write the songs. In the record there are beautiful tracks such as Jardin d’Hiver, by Benjamin Biolay and Mademoiselle, by Thomas Dutronc.

Henri Salvador was one of those enlightened people who were always able to update and identify young talent as they arise without feeling threatened by them. Instead, he took these songs by young composers and made them his own. Moreover, his constant good humor made ​​him hors concours in the congeniality contest of French music.

He died in 2008 at the age of 90.

Coralie Clément :: Salle des pas perdus (2001)

This was Coralie’s first album, released when the singer was only 19.

The sister of Benjamin Biolay released this album and, very soon, one of its tracks would already be included in a Hollywood soundtrack. Not bad, huh? The film in question is the delightful “Something’s Gotta Give,” and gave Coralie an international fame.

Benjamin Biolay :: Rose Kennedy (2002)

In addition to composing and producing his sister’s debut album in the previous year, Benjamin Biolay found time to release, in 2002, a record of his own. Up until today, I still think it’s his best record.

It has incredible tracks, like Les Cerfs-Volants, Un Ete sur la côte, Les roses et les promesses, Melodie du bonheur, among others. I’ve been completely in love with this album since I first listened to it.

And I highly recommend you watch this videoclipe.

Vincent Delerm – Vincent Delerm (2002)

While making this list, I really couldn’t decide if would choose the record Vincent Delerm or Les piqûres d’arrignée. The latter has tracks like Il fait si beau, Déjà Toi and J’ai pas même you dis, but I chose this one because this is the one that features Fanny Ardant et moi.

And that’s all I have to say about it.

Nouvelle Vague :: Nouvelle Vague (2004)

If this album had been released at the time of vinyl records, he probably would have stuck in my radiogram.

If the version of Heart of Glass which appeared in the band’s next album had come out on this one, he certainly would have broke inside my CD player.

I’m not exaggerating.

Camille :: Le fil (2005)

I don’t think it would be possible to make a list of best records of the decade in France without ever mentioning Camille.

Camille is bold, strong and her popularity and the impact that she has on people (although I think often overrated) says a lot about her work.

Emily Loizeau :: L’autre bout du monde (2006)

This album has tracks that goes from sad to joyful, always with an atmosphere a little burlesque, which prevails in the singer’s next work, the album “Pays sauvage.

The tracks Boby Cherri and Voilà pourquoi are the best of the joyful songs, and Je ne sais pas Choisir Loizeau shows a more playfulness while London Town, a beautiful duet with Andrew Bird, stands out among the melancholy part . It is a record that has certainly a big portion of variety and fun.

Thomas Dutronc :: Comme un manouche sans guitarre (2007)

Thomas is the son of French stars Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc and that has to mean something, right? I mean, we are talking about Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc here!

Thomas Dutronc released his debut album only in 2007, even though he has been a well known composer since 1995. Comme un Manouche sans guitar is an album that aspires to restore the honor and memory of the great Django Reinhardt to the new generations. Thomas has merit.

Of course he is far from being a Reinhardt, but it is a good start. The CD features delicious songs and Dutronc, the son, is certainly a promise of hope to the French chanson.

Berry :: Mademoiselle (2008)

The first time I heard this album from Berry, I remember feeling that it sounded like a cool breeze blowing in the summer. And though the new French generation was far from been a disappointment, I could not help feeling that this singer gave a breeze of fresh air to the whole scene.

This disc has a great version of “Capri” (better than the original, by Hervé Vilard) and soft music and delightful as “Belle comme tout”, “Le bonheur”, “Mademoiselle” and “Enfant de salud.”

Berry is delicate, beautiful, and when she sings, she does so with a smile on her face that is so loud that you can listen to it, even without looking at her. 

Couer De Pirate :: Coeur de Pirate (2009)
The newest enfant terrible of French music. Coeur de Pirate is a cool, pretty, sexy Canadian young girl that released this record when she was 19. 
My favorite is the cool duet with Julien Doré called Pour un infidèle. The song has an incredibly cool
video clip that I highly recommend watching.


About Author

I’m Gabriela Mudado, a Brazilian girl who has been in love with French tunes since… well, ever! I started a blog about French music (in Portuguese) in 2008 and recently decided to create an English version of it.

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