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The Despair Of Monkeys And Other Trifles
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Fran oise Hardy -- at the beginning of her career, at least -- covered more stylistic ground and owed more debts to pop/rock than she's given credit for. Immensely popular in her native France, the chanteuse first displayed her breathy, measured vocals in the early and mid-'60s. Her (mostly self-penned) recordings from that era draw from French pop traditions, lightweight '50s teen idol rock, girl groups, and sultry jazz and blues -- sometimes in the same song. The material is perhaps too unreservedly sentimental for some (in the French tradition), but the songs are invariably catchy and the production, arrangements, and near-operatic backup harmonies excellent, at times almost Spector-esque. Fans of Marianne Faithfull's mid-'60s work can find something of a French equivalent here, though Hardy's material was stronger and her delivery more confident. Acquisitions Editor at Inner Traditions, was born in El Paso, grew up in Vermont, and has lived in NYC, San Francisco, Richmond, Paris, and Philadelphia, before returning to Vermont to work at Inner Traditions. A graduate of Goddard College in Vermont with a major French and English Literature, he has translated more than 50 books from the French, and his work has been recognized by the L.A. Times.

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