Jim Corcoran, Pages Blanches

Quebecois singer songwriter Jim Corcoran has released over 12 albums in his long, illustrious career, so it’s hardly surprising that his latest, Pages Blanches, is such a breezy yet focused effort. Blanches starts off with the sweetly melodic “Éloge De La Page Blanche” which features a natural sounding acoustic guitar coupled with a simple mandolin, and a calm accordion. The rest of the album continues along these lines, but as Blanches progresses it becomes a more playful mix of country-folk songs — some are backed by sweeping classical strings, others feature inspired blues guitar solos, and even contain a weird mix of funk melodies. In contrast with the opening track, the eerie spoken word piece “Faute De Frappe” concludes this worldly ride with utter feelings of doubt and abandonment. While Corcoran does sing entirely in French (except for the Hank Williams cover “Won’t You Sometimes Think Of Me”) he emphasizes every word in a dramatic way that always remains interesting to the listener and needs no translation. Imaginative, charming and fun, Corcoran’s Pages Blanches is easily one of the best releases of 2005. (Audiogram)

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