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Friday, 9 March 2012

Friday's French music break - Laurent Voulzy, "C'était déjà toi"

Friday's French music break this week is Laurent Voulzy's "C'était déjà toi".

(screenshot from "C'était déjà toi" video)

You know when you first hear a song and you don't think that much of it, especially as it's by an artist you're not particularly keen on?

But then you hear it again and again, and you actually listen to it and gradually - hey you find it has worked its way into your head to such an extent that - horror upon horrors, you actually like it.

And what's more, it then encourages you to do some research and listen to more of the artist's music.

That's exactly what Laurent Voulzy's "C'était déjà toi " is - one of those songs that...well grows on you and opens the door to a body of work.

It's taken from Voulzy's most recent album "Lys & love" which is the first collection of new material he has released in a decade.

As Radio France Internationale says of Voulzy in a biography, he is hardly the most prolific of songwriters in French musical history, at least not in terms of recording albums.

And as if to prove a point, "Lys & love" is only the 63-year-old's seventh studio offering.

Choosing Voulzy's song as this week's Friday's French music break is more than appropriate timing because he has just won a Victoire de la Musique (the French equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Original Song with another track from the album, "Jeanne", co-written with his longtime friend and songwriting collaborator Alan Souchon.

Mind you the night in question, when the gongs were handed out, was rather a feast for the "oldies" (or more kindly perhaps, those who've been around for a fair number of years); Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine won Best Male Artist, Catherine Ringer was Best Female Artist and Jean-Louis Aubert won Best Concert - although some would argue that he should have been given Best Album and/or Best Song.

Laurent Voulzy (screenshot from "Jeanne" video)

But back to Voulzy, the album "Lys & love" and more specifically "C'était déjà toi".

The album is, in Voulzy's own words, "atypical" and it definitely has a delicate oldworldly quality or feel to it.

That's not surprising really as the influence for the album has been Voulzy's declared fascination with the Middle Ages.

It shows.

The wait has been well worth it, and so is more than one listen - a fact with which Voulzy seems to be in complete agreement.

"There are those songs that instantly grab your attention immediately," says his official website of the album.

But there are also others that you have to play more than once and whose subtle beauty is revealed with every listen."

"C'était déjà toi" is exactly that.

Once again co-written with Alain Souchon, it mixes English and French lyrics, electronic and classical music and a melody that's almost hypnotically enchanting.

So close your eyes for a moment or two and take a listen as Voulzy carries you off to his own universe.

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