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Putumayo Presents Acoustic France

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By September 2008

Putumayo Presents Acoustic France
(c) Putumayo Records, 2008

The Bottom Line

Putumayo is back in the Gallic lands with Acoustic France, an obvious follow-up to the excellent 2006 release Putumayo Presents Paris. Acoustic France is a decent collection of subtle guitar-and-vocal numbers (with a couple of instrumentals and full-band tunes thrown in for good measure), but timing out at just over 36 minutes, it leaves a lot to be desired. In fairness, most of these ballads are short, and in order to fill up a full 50 minutes of music, the album would have to contain 25 songs, but I still want a little more viande here.
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  • Nice selection of light and breezy ballads
  • Diverse grouping of favorite artists and fun new finds
  • Modern yet classic vibe runs throughout
  • Like with all Putumayo CDs, a portion of the proceeds is donated to charity


  • Not even 40 minutes long - barely enough time to get through the first course of dinner!
  • Similarity of songs can lead to a bit of boredom after a few listens


  • Primarily a collection of sweet, sultry ballads.
  • A peek into the current soul of the French chanson movement.
  • A nice mix of famous artists and lesser-known ones.

Guide Review - Putumayo Presents Acoustic France

Starting off strong with the decadent bossa nova-kissed "Assedic" from Paris-based group Les Ecrocs, and moves smoothly into the Django-esque "J'suis Pas d'Ici", from Thomas Dutronc (son of French music legends Francoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc). Moving quickly through breezy tracks from actress-turned-chanteuse Sandrine Kiberlain and French-Canadian Pascal Lejeune, among others, the next major highlight on the record is "Raphael", an understated love song from French first lady Carla Bruni. A couple more short tracks later, the album finishes off with the sexy "Maintenant" from San Francisco-based Rupa and the April Fishes.

Overall, it's a really nice collection of songs, but good grief, it's short. I thought my CD player had broken and the rest of the CD simply wasn't playing. I'm just not convinced that 36 minutes of music is worth fifteen bucks. I'm certainly not an advocate of longer songs automatically being better songs, but while most of these songs are really nice, most of them are not so remarkable that they warrant this hefty dollar-per-minute price.
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