Never one to settle on a single musical style, Brigitte Fontaine followed up her debut, Est…Folle, and her astonishing collaboration with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Comme à la Radio, with the most eclectic release of her lengthy career, 1972’s Brigitte Fontaine. It is telling that Fontaine chose an eponymous title for her third album, the sole release from her venerable ’70s catalogue attributed to her alone. Here the actress-cum-singer has finally arrived.
From the introspective opening track, simply named “Brigitte,” seductive melodies perfectly hang above slithery bass lines and acoustic strumming. On “Moi Aussi,” a sparse and trance-like duet with long-time collaborator Areski, Fontaine muses, “They put me in a cage and after they told me ‘You fly down.’” Brigitte Fontaine is an unmatched European art-pop masterpiece anchored by both vocal and lyrical dexterity—in many ways, Fontaine’s most compelling work and an excellent entry point for those unfamiliar with this unique French icon.