Melody Gardot

Edith Piaf did (co-)write La Vie en Rose, she wasn’t the first one to record the song. Wikipedia tells us originally, the song was registered as being written by Louis ‘Louiguy’ Guglielmi, since at the time Piaf did not have necessary qualifications to be able to copyright her work with SACEM. In 1945, Piaf’s friend Marianne Michel gave it a first try, for Piaf wasn’t sure it would fit in her repertoire. But from the first time she did sang the chanson, it became her signature song. La Vie en Rose was covered many, many times. Louis Armstrong (love his version), Dean Martin, Madeleine Peyroux, Aretha Franklin, Grace Jones, the list goes on.
And now American jazz singer Melody Gardot covered it, on her most recent album The Absence (a music magazine joked that the title refers to the lack of clothing on the album cover). Melody spices it up, sings it like it’s a booty call. Hard to ignore, judging from that album cover.

Melody Gardot – La vie en rose


Camille’s mocking the Edith Piaf-singing style on her new album, Ilo Veyou. In a song in which she sings France is recycling it’s past like a photocopier. On paper it’s quite funny. When you actually hear the song, it’s funny too. One time. Easily one of the most anticipated new albums this year, Camille’s fourth album is a tad disappointing. Yes, there’s vocal trickery (Bubble Lady, about her pregnancy, and the child choir in Allez Allez Allez), but there are ‘normal’ songs as well. Sung in English and French. Some almost sound 17th Century, like Message. She Was sounds like a leftover from Feist’s latest album. Most of the time, the music is very basic: guitar, strings, voice. This works beautifully in Le Berger and Le Banquet. The title track, with it’s upright bass and vocal workout, is a flashback to Music Hole. I saw her on the Music Hole tour, and was blown away by the performance, the vocals, the percussion, her charisma.  I still cherish this as one of the best concerts I ever saw. But now, when I hear her gasp, puff and sigh in Tout dit or Ilo Veyou, it’s kind of annoying. Yes, the girl can sing. Yes, she can do whatever she wants with her voice. But write good, solid songs, like Les Ex from her debut, or Au Port from Le Fil, that seems harder and harder for Camille.

Read an English interview with Camille here. And here.

Camille – La France

What’s the Point of Loving?

On Oct 9, 1962, chanson ueber-legend Edith Piaf, who was already critically ill at the time, married French singer Théo Sarapo, twenty years younger than her. During the twelve months they had left together, they scored a huge international hit with A quoi ca sert l’amour – here’s also documented who wore the pants in their relationship. Márcio Faraco’s 2008 album Um Rio features a classy bossa version of the all-too-seldom covered song, easygoing, laid-back and finding the point in the Brazilian lightness of being.

Márcio Faraco – A quoi ca sert l’amour

Zaz Dans La Rue

If promo legend is true, Tours-born Isabelle Geffroy sang in the postcard streets of Montmartre before she became a big three-letter-word named ZAZ and won the France Bleu/ Réservoir Generation contest. Released in May, her first, self-titled album rocketed to #1 of the French album charts, with a gracious mixture of blues, bossa, and jazz manouche, featuring also Guillaume Juhel (don’t miss his lovely version of Serge’s La Javanaise on his MySpace site), a young French guitarist extraordinaire with Carla already hot on his heels, you bet. Vocal-wise, ZAZ’s husky voice surely doesn’t really qualify for a fille fragile … but perfectly for an Edith Piaf cover like Dans la rue. The studio version can be found on her album, this live version can only be found at FS. Recorded September 7, 2010 at Halle, Germany for German MDR radio station, it displays as well modesty as class. If you can’t wait: More ZAZ very soon.

ZAZ – Dans la rue (live)