Album: Françoise Hardy, L'Amour Fou (EMI)

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The Independent Culture

Hardy, the 69-year-old Parisienne pop icon, returns with, this time, no generation-hopping collaborations with Anglo-American indie stars.

Instead, classy pianos, minor chords and brushed drums back her ever-elegant, half-spoken syllables as she muses on the follies of "mon coeur imbécile", with one eye on her mortality: the album's final two tracks translate as "Hell and Heaven" and "See You in Another Life".