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Saturday, March 6, 2010


320 KBPS

Camille is a Parisian chanteuse has been most noted as the former vocalist for Nouvelle Vague a studio project of French electronica producers Marc Collin and Oliver Libaux. Nouvelle Vague was a French band that did highly stylized bossa nova influenced covers of punk anthems such as Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" & the Clash's "Guns of Brixton." Camille earned a cult following of bohemian fans in the USA as the sometime vocalist for the group.
It would be a simple matter to put Camille in the category as other other Gallic pop muses like Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin, and currently Fracoiz Breut, who all render their vocals in a purring and breathy in the manner of the Serge Gainsborough school of deliciously frothy French pop. Camille's musical journey extends the French pop confection to the previously uncharted regions that have been declared off limits and designated "experimental" by those boilerplate producers who cater to the commercial tastes of the tone-deaf masses.
Camille's music contains elements of performance art and she has the avant-garde sensibility of say, Laurie Anderson, Bjork, or the mysterious Sabina Sciubba (of the Brazilian Girls). Like Bjork, and Laurie Anderson, Camille is fascinated by the use of the human voice as a percussion instrument to enhance her vocals. She normally overdubs three or four separate, but layered vocal tracks in the studio. In this live performance, however Camille uses 3 other vocalists to fill-out some of her own multi-layered vocal tracks that are a part of her "signature" studio production sound. A few of the songs sounded like prepared tapes were used. The rest up the live set-up is minimalist with a drummer, bass and Camille's own piano and guitar. It amazing how little she needs to replicate the lush and lavish production sound of her studio music before a live audience.
Since her earlier albums and the Nouvelle Vague album were studio recording projects, some skeptics (of which included myself) had wondered how Camille's often meandering musical statement would be greeted by live audiences. I am no longer a doubting Thomas about Camille's ability to command a stage. It's apparent that she holds her audience as willing and adoring captives from the first song until the final coda.
Her music is alluring and haunting even to those who don't understand her native French tongue. The music is intended to have the trance-like spell of ambient music, and comprehension of the lyrics is secondary to the appreciation of the music.
My only complaint about this otherwise magnificent album is there are a just a couple of moments where the enthusiastic audience at the Trianon gets a bit too carried away and does a clap-along that undermines the quality of Camille's musical performance. I'm puzzled by grown adults who feel the impulse to clap-along like preschoolers do for a Raffi rendition of "Baa,Baa Black Sheep."
It's only on a couple of songs in the generous sampling of 20 original songs, which pretty much covers the two dozen songs on her earlier two CDs, including "Le Fil" which won the French equivalent of a Grammy for best album. Most people probably wouldn't even be bothered by the momentary clap alongs. My complaint is that of an obsessive/compulsive person about background noise at a musical performance.
At age 26, Camille is young and is still an unfinished product of an immense and unusual musical talent. She is worshiped in Europe and does have the same sort of quirky crossover appeal of Bjork for fans of down-tempo indie music and world-beat. Her future is only limited to what she chooses to do with it.

1. Senza
2. La Jeune Fille Aux Cheveux Blancs
3. Assise
4. Janine 1
5. Le Sac Des Filles
6. Vous
7. Baby Carni Bird
8. Pour Que L'Amour Me Quitte
9. Janine 2
10. Au Port
11. Les Ex
12. Janine 3
13. Paris
14. 1,2,3
15. Rue De Ménilmontant
16. Pâle Septembre
17. Quand Je Marche (Nouvelle Version)
18. Mon Petit Vieux
19. Elle S'en Va
20. Ta Douleur
21. Senza

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

à voir sur scene !!!