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25
4.5 out of 5 stars
French Café
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I love every track on this album. They were obviously chosen by a genius. They range from pretty old stuff by artists like Barbara, to much newer, electronic pop by the likes of Matthieu Boogaerts and Enzo Enzo. But it all fits together beautifully (there's even something by Brigitte Bardot). What it did for me was make me explore French music in a bit more depth. It had never occured to me to listen to something not in English before, but why not? So now I'm a big fan of Matthieu Boogaerts in particular (check out his mesmerising 'Michel' album) and I've made connections with other French artists like Presque Oui and Albin de la Simone. If you're thinking it's all a bit outré and effete, well, it rather depends on you and the mood you're in. You can either treat this as a collection of really good music, or use it as an excuse to enjoy the morning sunshine with a croissant and a strong black coffee while talking to the cat in a bad French accent.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2006
What a lovely way to unwind. it makes you think of sun love and holidays.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2008
This CD is the best cafe music I've heard and will not tire of it. It does what it says on the tin - real feel good music must buy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Putumayo World Music compilations are probably better-known now than the Putumayo clothing brand, which gave birth to the project in the early 1990s.

This French Café collection is as atmospheric and feel-good as the best of them. 13 French songs are performed by different singers including Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin & Brigitte Bardot, all evocative of classic French café culture. The ambience is redolent of the 1920-1960 epoch and as usual with the Putumayo world music CDs, there’s just the right degree of self-parody without going overboard. Surprisingly there’s nothing by Piaf, but maybe the compilers thought that would be too much of a cliché!

The presentation is up to the usual high standard with cover-art by Brit-artist Nicola Heindl in her delightful folk-style. A 34-page colour booklet incorporated into the CD case includes a 2-page bio of each music artist featured on the CD in both English and French.

This is great music for all relaxing occasions like dinner parties, or on long afternoons as accompaniment to household activities. If you’re considering a trip to France for any reason, this music is perfect to get you in a delightfully upbeat mood.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2010
I'm from the UK but heard this in downtown Miami on a hot day in April. I (we) had taken shelter from the heat in a small cafe/bistro. The owner showed us the menu and asked if I could read it - I said (before I'd looked) that my Spanish wasn't too bad and he said, strangely, you can have it in French if you want.

Anyway, it was in English(?)

We were sipping at our excellent smoothies in this calm, cool cafe when I started to hear the music in the background, also cool, somewhat sexy and a bit out of place.

I asked what it was and was given the information.

The CD was bought on line and it was on the doormat when we got home
(we don't actually have a doormat, but it is a useful phrase).
So,I have listened in the car ... and out of the car and I love it ('French Cafe' nearly got 5 stars).

Irrespective of when the tracks were recorded, they seem to span the decades since French films were in Black & White (Oh, they still are?) well the sixties then!

There's one in there that sounds like Fu-Fu-Ai (something I would recommend - it is also reminiscent of French movies even if the band is Italian and contemporary).

'French Cafe' is about the mood as much as the music - and that's pretty good too. Each track is enjoyable in its own right and together they resulted in two excellent decisions ... by the compiler, and by me for buying it!

Recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2006
I love this CD, listen to it often when I want to chill and listen to something that reminds me of holidays.
Well worth buying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2011
This compilation is one of the best cd-s with french music I have ever heard. There is also one titled "Paris" (another Putumayo release). They both let me feel as if I was again in Paris, sitting at Champs Elysees or at Montmartre while street musicians play some french music...:)
Extraordinary feeling!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2007
This is the way forward to some instant feel-good music. I love France and this CD really reflects the relaxing, laid-back culture. Full marks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2009
Quite a good mix of French songs, some unknown (by me)artists, and some long time friends, which was good to hear again.
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on 28 July 2012
I stumbled upon this CD when stopping for a coffee in a hip café in Warsaw. It creates a very French feeling by combining not so much "classic" French songs but rather "classic" French performers of the 60s and 70s singing some of their less known songs (and by adding some younger musicians who follow the same style).
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