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Title: Anne Pigalle: Everything could be so perfect
Author: Ted Mico
Source: Melody Maker
Publish date: October 19, 1985

Anne Pigalle: Everything Could Be So Perfect (ZTT)

NAMES come to mind… distant, luxuriant, exotic names. French names — Edith Piaf, Gaulois, Vichie Suoize, St Laurent, Mitterand, Renault 5… and Anne Pigalle. Spot the odd one out. The first are very Rive Gauche, the last is simply gauche. Anne Pigalle — Sasha Distel raised an octave while stooping to new depths of vacant and posed deprivation as samba is cajolled into a shotgun wedding with Anne’s brittle half-sung chant of broken English.

Old numbers come to mind… broken dreams. Sadly, however, none of the slivers of atmosphere displayed here are strong enough to carry such a thinly-sketched personality, and Anne’s character is too frail to stamp its authority on the shifting scenes of background music that only fade into the distance.

Her signature is illegible. Her sex is sterile, antiseptic, and about as enticing as Maurice Chevalier’s left buttock. Even the wistful entreaties of “He! Stranger” complete with melodramatic violin serenades issue no warmth, no regret, no ecstacy and no pain. In fact, the only pain throughout the album occurs when Miss Pigalle actually tries to sing. A torch singer with no flames.

The bogus sophistication of “Looking For Love”, and the mindboggling emptiness of “Souvenier D’Un Paris” are only partly made pallatable by Luis Jardim’s sheen of production — a task overseen by the ever-present Trevor Horn. Rather a pity that both of them overlooked the severe limitations of a puppet chanteuse whose strings don’t work. Only “Intermission” breaks the emotive silence, and ear-splitting mundanity when swing harmoniums and cantering rhythms haul Pigalle’s voice out of transparency and into invisibility. Grace Jones could have pulled it off — Anne Pigalle merely pastes it on, crossing the fine line between cool detachment and rigid automation.

Words come to mind… Harsh words. French words. Words for Anne Pigalle… Give up.