Coralie Clément
Name of Album: salle des pas perdus
Ratings: Personal - 4 General - 4
Release Date: August 27, 2002


Meet Coralie Clément, she's young, pretty and seemingly pretty talented. With a debut album that hit these American shores August 27, Salle Des Pas-Perdus (The Room of Lost Steps) is a compilation of French pop tunes inspired by the music of the 60s and 70s that is as droll and poetic as its title.

Playing the violin since she was six, Coralie sings to swoon on this album with help form her older brother Benjamin Biolay who served as writer, composer and performer on this production as well.

Although this album is entirely in French, it is still quite pleasant to listen to with an open mind. The lyrics themselves are actually quite accessible for those have studied, and Clément sings at a temp which makes it easy to follow if you have the liner notes.

And even if you can't understand a word of what she whispers, its fun to make up words as she slices the sultry summer air with her sibilant chansons. So sing along with whatever comes to mind.

Other than the low-key voice which strings this compilation together, the musical compositions are stylistically quite varied.

Although I liked most of the selections, there were one or two that I particularly enjoyed. For example, Les Matins D'ete has a gleeful streak of violins which draw the listener off into the dreams left behind on some sublime recline of a wistful summer morn.

The entire album has a wonderfully languorous quality to it, perfect fare for lingering at a sidewalk café (Sorry, but the music lends itself to such clichés.)

And it doesn't hurt that Coralie is a mere twenty-two years old. She's also cute in a melancholic way, so you kind of almost feel sorry for her for some arcane hetero-male reason, sorry enough that if she was a starving co-ed selling her wares on a street corner, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase my share.

Mademoiselle Clément has the potential to mature into an accomplished siren, but for now she's novelty. The musical arrangements are quite keen as I mentioned before, reminiscent of a combination of Koop meets a quiet Nelson Riddle meets Jobim.

So the combination of up and coming songstress with more accomplished musicians is intriguing and worth a listen, regardless of how rusty your high school French may be (or even never was). In sum, Salle Des Pas-Perdus is nice Sunday brunch fare in the back yard with friends on a crisp Fall morning. Buy if you're looking for something different, something new, something to make love and make leisure fun to.