06 October 2017 (released)
06 October 2017
France's former first lady Carla Bruni was a supermodel back in the days when it really meant something. Having made her name at 19 in a Guess? Jeans campaign, she went on to model for everyone from Christian Dior to Givenchy, Paco Rabanne to Sonia Rykiel. Having walked away from the catwalk to pursue her music goals in 1997, she is about two release her fifth studio album (her second English language release). While her fame as a songstress has never reached the same heights in the UK as in mainland Europe, all that could change with her latest release French Touch.
Borrowing slightly from the school of thought which made Nouvelle Vague so popular internationally, French Touch is a revisiting of Carla Bruni's favourite English language classics reworked with, as the title states, a French touch. The tried and tested formula works. There is denying that Bruni boasts a effortless vocal, which has been showcased over her flawless back catalogue, and when re-imagining her favourite songs, they take on a new shape and new meaning.
Opening with a haunting rendition of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence, Bruni shows that while she is faithful to the originals, she is able to add her own dimension to a song. This is perhaps best showcased on the rather wonderful Willie Nelson collaboration on Patsy Cline's signature hit Crazy. The boldly vocalled original always had a vulnerable edge, but Bruni's rendition is truly fragile.
The country edge is one that clearly suits Bruni, as she bravely covers Tammy Wynette's signature anthem Stand By Your Man. While Tammy had a bit to her, there is something quite disconcerting but truly magical about the sincerity with which Bruni delivers the same lyrics.
However, it is the cheese factor that really wins out within this collection. The Winner Takes It All really does. This is a pop anthem that we all know and love, and Bruni's rendition ought to earn her a cameo in the upcoming Mamma Mia 2 for it is so tenderly delivered that you really feel every word.
French Touch is a romantic and beautiful as the title suggests. This is a really wonderful collection that will re-shape how you think of some of your favourite songs ever.