Jane Birkin – Rendez-Vous

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Album Review by EDF

Who, I hear you ask, is Jane Birkin? Going back in time, she was the pretty young thing who panted her way to the top of the UK charts in 1969 with her breathless duet with Serge Gainsbourg on JE T’AIME (MOI NON PLUS). 35 years later, we find the one time actress releasing a brand new album of seductive sounding duets.

Most of the artists featured here are not well known to most of the English speaking world but these mostly French songs should not stop anybody from enjoying it. The opening, skipping, percussion like JE M’APPELLE JANE gives the album a fun like feel which is quickly displaced by the darker tracks that follow. We find the sometimes-reclusive Bryan Ferry appearing on the haunting IN EVERY DREAM HOME A HEARTACHE, where he is evenly matched by Birkin.

While LA GRIPPE sounds like it belongs in a smoky lounge bar, the Beth Gibbons written STRANGE MELODY is a stark, dark Scott Walker type track that is unlike anything else to be found on this album. The mood lightens up with O LEAOZINHO but takes a turn for the worst with the weakest track, SMILE, coming from Placebo’s Brian Molko. Things are put right again with the help of that other famous French singer Francoise Hardy on SURANNEE.

This album is unusual in itself, as it does not sound like anything else that is out at the moment. The brave decision to sing in a number of different languages also makes this an international affair and Jane has proved that she is comfortable singing in the other languages featured here. This is a class album that will sure to find an appreciative audience, probably found in those smoky underground bars.

4 stars