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Franky Knight

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Album Review

Written and recorded in the wake of her boyfriend's tragic swine flu-related death (Arcade Fire and Coldplay sound engineer Francois Chevallier), it's inevitable that French chanteuse Emilie Simon's fifth studio album, Franky Knight, will be tinged with sadness. Indeed, it would take a hard-heart not to be moved by the likes of opener "Mon Chevalier," a tear-jerking tribute to her late partner, whose skittering glockenspiels provide a suitably disorienting accompaniment to her grief-stricken lyrics ("you took my soul away with you the night you went"), the celestial melancholy of instrumental "Les Amants du Meme Jour," and the mournful and cathartic, avant-garde jazz-pop of "Bel Amour." But with nine of its numbers also doubling up as the official soundtrack to David and Stephane Foenkinos' rom com La Delicatesse, a tale based on the relationship between a widow (Audrey Tautou) and her Swedish co-worker (Francois Damiens), there's also a sense of optimism running through its ten tracks. "I Call It Love" sees Simon embrace her romantic side as she flits between yelping banshee and lovesick puppy against a backdrop of pounding organs and doo wop melodies; "Holy Pool of Memories" (co-written with British novelist Graham Joyce) is a slinky and seductive number which sits somewhere between the theatrical pop of Kate Bush and the vampish electro of Goldfrapp, while there are convincing attempts at bass-driven indie disco ("Franky's Princess"), Camille-esque chamber music ("Jetaimejetaimejetaime"), and warm, brass-led lounge pop ("Something More"). Having previously received an Oscar nomination for her score to La Marche de l'Empereur, Simon has already proved her worth as an film composer, but Franky Knight impressively works just as well as a cohesive studio album as it does a soundtrack, ensuring that despite its difficult inception, Franky Knight is the most accomplished record of her career. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Biography

Born: 17 July 1978 in Montpellier, France

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although Emilie Simon is a conservatory-trained experimental musician with a strong theoretical grounding, she has also made a name for herself both as a mainstream soundtrack composer and as an electronic pop musician not far removed from Björk or the Knife, with a distinctively soft, almost babyish voice that at times recalls both early Kate Bush and Claudine Longet. Born in the small coastal city of Montpellier, France, in 1978 into a musical family (her mother is a pianist, her father a sound...
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Franky Knight, Émilie Simon
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