Podcast: Michael Freedberg schools you in variete Francaise

Mylene: Queen of Pop

This week in the fishwrap, Charles Taylor makes the case for French pop, through the lens of the latest Mrs. Johnny Depp album. Below, longtime Phoenix critic Michael Freedberg, whom we consider our resident expert on the topic, provides his own master-class in variete francaise -- one that is necessarily weighted towards Mylene Farmer, who is the Reed to his Bangs, the Kixx to his Eddy. In his commentary on these 17 "best-of-the-best" tracks, Freedberg elaborates on the spirit of liberte that infuses the best of Mylene; teases out the existential bark in Pascal Obispo's bite; and introduces us to a breadth of French pop that swings from the volcanic rock-n-roll swagger of Noir Desir to the tipsy modernist electro of Melissa Mars. It's the depth of feeling that Freedberg responds to in these tracks; at times, when we were recording this session about a week ago, the critic sobbed openly in the studio while the tracks played back.

DOWNLOAD: The Sphere Vol 12: Variete Francaise Part 1 [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: The Sphere Vol 13: Variete Francaise Part 2 [mp3]

Vol 12 Tracklist:

1. Madmoiselle Chang: France Gall
2. Fuck Them All: Mylene
3. Alice et June: Indochine
4. C'est une belle journee: Mylene Farmer
5. Lone Machine: Melissa Mars
6. L'au-de la: Jean Louis Murat
7. Mylene Is Coming: Mylene Farmer
8. Point de mire: Ariane Moffet

Voll 13 Tracklist:

1. Le Pretension de rien: Pascal Obispo
2. Chanson pour hier et demain: Marie Mai
3. L'enfant roi: Noir Desir
4. Raton Laveur: Jean Leloup
5. We'll Never Die: Mylene Farmer
6. Tu me corresponds: Francois Cabrel
7. Lonely: Mitsou
8. le grand incende: Noir Desir
9. Mylenium: Mylene Farmer

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