Today sees the release of tribute album to French new wave legends Téléphone entitled Ça (C'est
vraiment nous), with a selection of artists interpreting the work of the seminal French act.
Recent years have seen similar albums spotlighting Renaud, Jean-Jacques Goldman and Jacques Dutronc.
Songs on the new collection include La bombe humaine, interpreted by Gaëtan Roussel, Hygiaphone by Zaz and Anna by Tété. The album was preceded by the single Un autre monde, performed by Superbus
Whatever your feelings on the artists involved, these projects stand or fall on the strength of the songs. In the case of Téléphone, that's pretty strong start. Most of Téléphone's best songs are here.
But the interpretations throughout seem a bit polite. This certainly isn't Téléphone re-invented as Rage aganst The (answering) Machine.
The version of Argent trop cher for example loses its sense of injustice, too much reverence, not enough venom. Still, Zaz's take on Hygiaphone and Gaëtan Roussel's La bombe humaine retain the edge of the originals.
If the purpose of the album is to get people thinking about Téléphone and their songs, then job done.
But if its purpose is to suggests these artists should be held in the same regard as Téléphone, not so much.