Sophie Tapie: Sauvage

Tapie1French Fried

Listening Post 52. When Sophie Tapie appeared on The Voice/France she wanted to perform songs by Johnny Cash but bowed to warnings of how French viewers might vote; she did Bruno Mars and Johnny Hallyday instead. Lesson learned, when the time came to record her first album she ditched Paris for the place where French and country go together as comfortably as tailgates and moonlight—Québec. The result of that journey is Sauvage (Wild), one of the best country albums of the past year in any language. The 12 tracks, most of which Tapie wrote or co-wrote, have some of the loveliest stretches of country soundscape ever heard, with patches of bluegrass, folk and rock. At the rousing end is J’envoie en l’air (I’m Pulling the Plug), a declaration of independence by a woman scorned: “I know of your cheating from whispers I once refused to hear,” she sings, “and a little fresh air is all I need to find the courage to pick myself up” (video 1). The big world intrudes in Des milliards de petits corps (Billions of Little Bodies) a lament/fantasy inspired by child victims in war zones: “The kilometers that separate us,” she admits, “confuse my conscience, buy my silence/But there’s something that never dies in all those little souls” (video 2). Noël Lachance (Bad Luck Noël) is the table-turning and harmony-sweet tale of a jinx: “My life is an emergency, I travel by ambulance/They say I smell of coffin pine and that the end is near” (video 3). There’s much more to Sauvage—and lots of great open road for Tapie. (Vega Musique)


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