People remembering the 1970s as a grim decade must surely be forgetting records like this, which prove that it was also a time of romance and sophistication. Romance of course meaning “French”. And sophistication meaning….”French”. And they don’t come much more romantic and sophisticated than Charles Aznavour.

“She”‘s lyrics take a somewhat easy road – womankind as an exotic, unknowable, endlessly mysterious other. Men are from France, women are from Venus. You don’t get much sense that “She” is a real human being, which is of course the point – this record is both all-purpose (who wouldn’t imagine they were flattering their lover by implying that she is She) and aspirational (but actually it’s probably Brigitte Bardot or someone). Under the heavily-accented corn there’s a song here somewhere but I can’t say I have the patience to uncover it.

Score: 3

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