Love Songs

Love Songs

by Vanessa ParadisVanessa Paradis


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It's been six years since Divinidylle, and Vanessa Paradis is making up for lost time with the 22-track Love Songs. The title bears some poignancy -- this is her first offering since splitting from Johnny Depp. (He and their daughter Lily Rose get co-writing credits on the dubwise "New Year.") Benjamin Biolay produced the set, wrote six tunes for it, co-wrote another with Paradis, and performed a duet with her. Biolay may not be the next Serge Gainsbourg, but he is the master's most logical successor in terms of musical sophistication, writing chops, and a willingness to experiment sonically. Among the other songwriters who contributed material are Mathieu Boogaerts, Mickaël Furnon, BB Brunes' Adrien Gallo, Marcel Kanche, and Paradis. Opener "L'au-Delà" is a modern French chanson offered in lilting waltz time; guitars and snare drum move directly at the singer who slips them and lets the lyric guide her delivery. The title track single by Biolay caused a discussion between singer and producer -- being one of his best songs, she wanted him to keep it for himself, but he insisted she record it. It's classic French disco, complete with big bassline, spacy strings, Star Wars battle synths, organic and synthetic percussion, wah-wah guitars, and an infectious, hooky, vocal chorus. Paradis' voice, usually wispy and slight, digs into the lyric with force and delight. "Les Espaces et les Sentiments" is funky pop, where the singer struts atop the bassline, synth pulse, and percussion, and places them in service of her sultry delivery. "Tu pars Comme on Revient," by Biolay, brings the classic age of French chanson to the indie pop era with a flourish, yet it took this singer to pull it off. "The Dark It Comes" is a duet with ex-Libertines' Carl Barat; it's a twisted murder ballad whose narrative stands in sharp contrast to its lush musical arrangement. The tango-gypsy fusion in "Le Rempart" is clever and convincing, as is "Sombreros," where reggae meets cumbia. "Mi Amor" is Phil Spector rock & roll with 21st century production featuring a dirty bassline vamp and blissed-out guitars in the bridge. It highlights Paradis' sassy, playful phrasing -- she can sing this stuff all day and always sound convincing. She lends a wistful poignancy to her reading of Jacques Brel's classic "La Chanson des Vieux Cons," which Biolay illustrates dramatically with a restrained operatic backing choir, organ, and piano. His duet with her on "Les Roses Roses" owes as much to early rock & roll as it does to the breezy sophisti-pop Biolay is famous for. As a result of this collaboration, Love Songs is Paradis' most heterogeneous album musically -- though that is admittedly subtle at first. While Biolay's importance cannot be overstated, this is the very first Paradis record where she sounds like a full partner with her producer rather than the singer he illuminates. While she doesn't leave pop behind here, she pushes its envelope -- and her own -- attaining a diversity that we couldn't have imagined from her previously.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/21/2013
Label: Barclay
UPC: 0602537350681
catalogNumber: 3735068


Disc 1

  1. L' Au-delà
  2. Love Song
  3. C'est quoi?
  4. Les Espaces et les Sentiments
  5. Prends garde à moi
  6. Tu pars comme on revient
  7. The Dark, It Comes
  8. Rocking-Chair
  9. Station Quatre-Septembre
  10. Tu vois c'que j'vois

Disc 2

  1. La Crème
  2. Le Rempart
  3. Mi Amor
  4. New Year
  5. Tu si na cosa grande
  6. Sombreros
  7. Être celle
  8. Doorway
  9. La Chanson des vieux cons
  10. Les Roses roses

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vanessa Paradis   Primary Artist,Chant,Choeurs
Karen Brunon   Choeurs
Benjamin Biolay   Piano
Carl Barat   Chant
Dieter Limbourg   Flute,Saxophone
Estelle Villotte   Viola
Sébastien Levy   Viola
Elsa Fourlon   Choeurs
Alexia Waku   Choeurs
Julie Rousseau   Choeurs
Rachel Pignot   Choeurs
Marc Chouarain   Piano
Amanda Madela Mbuyi   Choeurs
Guillaume Coignart   Choeurs
Brice Baillon   Choeurs
Nicholas Fiszman   Basse

Technical Credits

Vanessa Paradis   Composer
Domenico Modugno   Composer
Johnny Depp   Composer
Benjamin Biolay   Composer
Carl Barat   Composer
Mathieu Boogaerts   Composer
Jerome Attal   Composer
Ben Ricour   Composer
Mickaël Furnon   Composer
Marcel Kanche   Composer
Adrien Gallo   Composer
Pierre Grillet   Composer
Ruth Ellsworth Carter   Composer
Roberto Gigli   Composer
Lily Rose Depp   Composer
François Villevielle   Composer

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