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Charles Trenet: La Mer (1938-1946) [Original Recordings]

Charles Trenet

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Album Review

La Mer is an infectious, bubbly collection of Charles Trenet's work between 1938 and 1946 featuring such hits as the jaunty "La Mer," "Boum," and "Hop! Hop!" as well as the surging ballad "Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours?." Trenet was an entertainer in the classic sense, his "Singing Fool" act a holdover from pre-World War II France. His music wasn't anything fancy. Normally, Trenet's expressive, mirthful scatting would appear backed by accordion, noodling clarinets, or muted trumpet. Nevertheless, the songs came alive in Trenet's hands. La Mer moves along at a brisk clip — sometimes it's like riding in the back of a carriage on a chilly Paris evening, leaving one crowded café and heading to another. It's a fun set that never lets language differences get in the way of being entertaining or evocative.

Biography

Born: 18 May 1913 in Narbonne, France

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Charles Trenet was among the last of his kind of singer, a holdover from the era of pre-World War II France and the prime of Maurice Chevalier, as well as singer/composers such as Georges Brassens and Léo Ferré. Originally an art student, Trenet turned to singing in his early twenties, initially in partnership with pianist Johnny Hess in a duo billed as "Charles and Johnny." In his earliest stage persona, Trenet was also known as a musical impressionist, with a special penchant for doing exaggerated...
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Charles Trenet: La Mer (1938-1946) [Original Recordings], Charles Trenet
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