Francoise Hardy has a deserved place among the great French sixties icons Jacques Dutronc and Serge Gainsbourg. She has fashioned a lovely album full of classic songs as well as her own compositions that features duets with people like her husband Jacques Dutronc, Iggy Pop, and Etienne Daho.
The combination of several songs from the 1930's and many from the last decade creates a great effect as her uniquely melancholic voice suits many eras.
"Puisque vous partez en voyage" (Since you're leaving) with Jacques Dutronc is a wonderful cat-and-mouse with one of the France's best fast talkers. Her cover of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli's "Tous mes souvenirs me tuent" (All of my memories are killing me) goes back in time. The more modern "Duck's blues" creates a mood.
Hearing Hardy and Iggy Pop sing the "I'll be seeing you" is one of the great moments on this disc, while the Everly Brothers classic, "So Sad", with Etienne Daho, is bittersweet.
Hardy redoes one of her classics, " Tu ressembles a tous ceux qui ont eu du chagrin" into a perfect pop song.
The title track, "Clair obscur", like the album, is unadorned and moving. Only someone who has been recording since the sixties can create this sort of heartfelt record without sounding overly sentimental. It's the real thing.