French popular music sucks. It actually sucks in so many ways, in so many genres, that I could not keep proper track of its promiscuous modalities of inadequacy. A friend suggested to me that the French never made the categorical distinction between "rock" and "show tunes" that is fundamental to Anglo-American popular music, so that French pop sounds more or less like Barry Manilow. But that doesn't explain the travesty that is French hip-hop. Nor does it explain the curious fact that although experimental French art and literature have in fact rocked almost continuously for the past 175 years, no French music of any kind has really mattered to the rest of the world since the mid-thirteenth century, when the hot new musical form known as the "motet" took Europe by storm. I welcome your theories about this. (Before anybody gets all weird with me about Berlioz and Satie, all I have to say is, two exceptions in 750 years prove the rule. And the incomparable Django Reinhardt wasn't French, he was Manouche.)But hey: what about MC Solaar, who raps in French? If that's not a mutant superpower, what is?
12 July 2004
Insert Jerry Lewis joke here
From Bérubé, who also has some wry observations about soccer.