French singer Brigitte Fontaine made a series of increasingly eclectic art-pop LPs in the 1970s that garnered acclaim in France, although she remains obscure to an international audience. Initially, she was an eccentric but accessible pop singer, presenting melodic and orchestrated material. On subsequent records, Fontaine got jazzier, and moved into more difficult directions of avant-gardism, employing African tribal rhythms, discordant progressive jazz, pretty folky melodies, throat-stretching a cappella vocals, spoken poetry, and pious classical arrangements, sometimes with a stoned recklessness. Fontaine returned to recording in the '90s, around the time her vintage work slowly began to accumulate a cult following among English-speaking listeners. ~ Richie Unterberger
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