★★★ Les Sources BARCLAY/UNIVERSAL. CD/DL/LP
First album in five years by archetypal French star wafts like gently gusting wind.
Although actor/musician Vanessa Paradis is the focus, her albums are collaborations: whether with former partner Lenny Kravitz or countrymen and Gallic musical behemoths Benjamin Biolay and Matthieu Chedid. For Les Sources, her seventh studio album, former Bees mainman Paul Butler produces, arranges and plays on every Los Angelesrecorded track. The film director Samuel Benchetrit, her husband since June 2018, contributes lyrics to six of the 11 vocal tracks. The Frenchlanguage outcome wanders through the soothingly Brazilian Dans Notre Monde, La Plage, which enfolds like Harvest For The World-era Isley Brothers, and the foggy Kiev’s Histoire De Melody Nelson arrangement. A La Hauteur De Mes Bas journeys into late-night torchiness. In the customary French way, Paradis’ still-adolescent voice is placed bang up-front. And while terrifically tasteful, Les Sources does not linger. It is the aural counterpart of a light, warm breeze.