Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sarko and Carla

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni are having a very public affair. Now, ordinarily, news like that would send me into a coma. It caught my attention, though, because Carla has caught my attention.

Not because she is a famous model, although, by gum, she is très angélique. No, the thing is, she has recorded an album I'm fond of. It's called Quelqu'un m'a dit (Someone Told Me). Yes, she sings in French despite her Italian name and, apparently, origins.


I had never heard of her, in her modeling career or otherwise, when I became acquainted with the disc at one of those listening stations at Borders where you can listen on headphones that make every track sound like it was recorded in the kitchen of the Carlsbad Cavern Hilton. Even so, it grabbed me.

I suspect the thing sold about 50 units in the United States, including the one I bought. Foreign languages are perfumes that repel Americans. But aside from knowing enough French to get by with very tolerant native speakers, I dug the album's style and spirit.

Quelqu'un m'a dit is an album mostly of ballads, quiet and romantic. The sparing, pure arrangements are unusual for a production from France, where they go in for overheated, horn-heavy, 101-strings backings.

You won't catch me out saying Carla is the new Edith Piaf, but she makes pleasant listening and the songs, most of which she wrote or co-wrote, are attractive. This is no vanity project.


Hey, Sarko. You've got taste when it comes to objets d'amour. Now, when you get your breath back, how about drawing a dead line for the jihadists-in-waiting you continue to tolerate in practically every city of your republic?


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