Se si legge il titolo “Golem” e poi si scorge il nome della formazione “Jewish experience” si corre il rischio di pensare immediatamente ad una operazione realizzata sulla scia e ad imitazione di una delle mode caratterizzanti questi ultimi anni: il klezmer attualizzato. Per completare il quadro il leader, Gabriele Coen, suona il clarinetto come Don Byron, musicista noto per aver ripercorso la musica della cultura ebraica in dischi storici come “Play the music of Mickey Katz” o come David Krakauer altro esponente di spicco del jazz intriso di elementi klezmer. A conti fatti anche il modello del “John Zorn-Masada” viene alla memoria, a priori, prima dell’analisi del disco. Insomma la possibilità di trovarci di fronte ad un prodotto confezionato in modo “provinciale”, alla maniera di…c’è tutta. Invece, aprendo la copertina, si scopre che le note sono firmate da Gianfranco Salvatore, giornalista geniale, attento, rigoroso e poco incline a “regalare” giudizi positivi a chiunque pubblichi cd di genere o di confine. Ascoltando il disco, poi, cadono tutti i pregiudizi.
Francis Cabrel is in top form for this 1994 release. While the style of the music stays in the acoustic rock category, each song is carefully crafted and infused with a variety of sounds and influences, ranging from contemporary folk (“Tot ou tard s’en aller”) to cool jazz (“Le noceur”) to blues-rock (“Assis sur le rebord du monde”). Cabrel uses his voice like an instrument, varying the tone and texture for effect. His renowned lyrics are sharp as well, from the Dylanesque “La corrida” to the poetic “Je t’aimais, je t’aime, je t’aimerai.” The album flows along smoothly at a leisurely pace, but never loses interest, thanks to the changing instrumentation, judicious use of guest artists (such as Nicolas Reyes of the Gipsy Kings) and the musical direction of Gèrard Bikialo. The album also stays focused on the songs, prominently featuring Cabrel’s voice and guitar. The music on Samedi soir sur la terre represents a master of the trade in action. ~ Samuel Johnson
Cabrel generally sticks to typical sounds, styles, and approaches with Quelqu’un de l’interieure. In fact, much of this 1983 release sounds like it belongs in the ’70s. Most of the songs are a little uneven and perhaps less inspired than usual. However, the album is a pleasant listen, and the production is solid. More importantly, Quelqu’un contains a couple of truly outstanding songs. “L’enfant Qui Dort” is nothing short of exquisite — a perfect ballad. Cabrel employs his sharpest lyric writing on the blisteringly paced “Edition Speciale.” The message song “Said et Mohamed” was one of Cabrel’s most successful songs of his ’80s output. The rest of the album never quite fulfills the promise of these tracks. ~~AllMusic Review by Samuel Johnson
Pour la 1ére fois, la discographie de Francis Cabrel en version remasterisée à partir des bandes analogiques d’origine et en format Digisleeve. Les murs de poussière : le premier album de Francis Cabrel, sorti originellement en 1977 : C’est la chanson tube “Petite Marie” qui valut à Francis Cabrel de remporter un concours organisé par Sud Radio, de rencontrer le producteur Richard Seff et d’enregistrer ce tout premier album qui, au gré de ses 11 titres, distille le charme et la sensibilité d’un jeune auteur-compositeur appelé à marquer la chanson française de son exceptionnel talent. De la toute première chanson qu’il ait écrite, “Ma ville”, à “Petite Marie”, dédiée à sa femme, et aux “Murs de poussière”, qui figurent aujourd’hui parmi les classiques de son répertoire, on est touché par la finesse de sa poésie, par son romantisme à fleur d’écriture, par son jeu de guitare, par les nuances de son interprétation, par l’émotion qu’elle diffuse. Et déjà on s’attache à son originale personnalité et à cet accent ensoleillé que Cabrel n’a jamais cherché à travestir. Esquisse de son oeuvre à venir, ce premier album en contient les germes fertiles…
Francis Cabrel’s second release is chock-full of well-written songs. The album flows well, is a pleasant listen, and features an impressive variety of styles from ’70s pop (“Souviens-toi de nous”) to the mandatory blues number (Monnaie blues-in the vein of Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”). It was the acoustic ballads, however, that were most successful artistically and commercially. The gentle “Je l’aime à mourir,” with its poetic lyric, was a big hit in France. The song’s influence on artists such as French-Canadian singer Roch Voisine, considering he recorded a version of it on his album Double (warning: the adaptation of the lyrics into English is rather poorly done, and doesn’t resemble a translation). “Je rêve” is an excellent example of the French songwriting aesthetic. “C’était l’hiver” is also impressive – a study in melancholy. Beautiful guitar work and solid arrangements accompany all three of these ballads. In fact, every single song is solidly written. Unfortunately, the music is marred by the album production, which includes ill-advised electronic effects and instruments. These distractions deal a serious blow to what could have been an excellent album. Nevertheless, this is still a fascinating record of an artist coming into his own vocally and artistically. ~~AllMusic Review by Samuel Johnson
A popular singer/songwriter in France for the past three decades, Francis Cabrel is also a bit of a pastoral recluse, preferring to spend his days with his family in his hometown village of Astaffort, rather than in the media spotlight of Paris. Unsurprisingly, his studio output has become less than prolific in recent years, with intervals of four or five years between records. His artistry and popularity, however, have not suffered in the least, as evident in 2008’s Des Roses et Des Orties. The new songs offer few surprises for either Cabrel fans or detractors, other than a keener emphasis on social issues. This is also reflective of a general trend in France, where events such as the 2007 election of Sarkozy, or the heated debate on immigration, brought politics back to the forefront, both in the media and in everyday life. Cabrel, a father of two who recently adopted a Vietnamese child, is particularly sensitive to the plight of immigrant children, as well as to the ever widening gap between the richer and poorer regions of the planet, the subject of “African Tour,” “Mademoiselle L’aventure,” and “Les Cardinaux en Costume,” among others. Furthermore, Cabrel criticizes institutionalized religion in “La Chêne Liège” and artists and songwriters like himself (“Des Gens Formidables”) for feigning sympathy for the poor but doing very little about it. Most of the songs set Cabrel’s soft spoken voice against his acoustic guitar, reinforced by bluesy electric guitar pickings, or stately piano accompaniment. A few tracks add a discreet ethnic flavor for variety, such as the tasteful flamenco guitar in the opening “La Robe et L’échelle.” The inclusion of three covers, by Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and J.J. Cale, translated and sung in French by Cabrel, seems less fortunate as these songs feel somewhat out of place in the more somber context of this record. A typically well-crafted Cabrel album, Des Roses et Des Orties reached the top of the French charts upon its release. ~~AllMusic Review by Mariano Prunes
The melancholy title track that opens Carte Postale announces that Francis Cabrel will not be content to churn out bottomless clone albums. It’s not the melancholy tone of the song (he’d done that before), but rather the way he sings it and uses all possible resources to reinforce the mood that point up Cabrel’s more intense approach. He continues to reach for different effects with his voice and instrumentation on the first half of the album as he moves through different styles. It is true some of the vocal affectations may be missteps, but it is always rewarding to hear an artist move with emotion and confidence. Interestingly enough, the second set of songs on the album is very solid (no fillers here), making this the most consistent album of Cabrel’s career to date. Standout songs include “Ma place dans le trafic” and “Comme une madone oubliee.” ~~AllMusic Review by Samuel Johnson
There is an often-repeated adage that piano recordings of the Bach’s Toccatas, like those of the Goldberg Variations, fall into two categories: Glenn Gould and not Glenn Gould. These recordings embody the elements of Gould’s Bach without necessarily falling under the shadow of his larger-than-life musical persona. The performance style favours smooth legato, reserved ornamentation and an even balance between the hands. He is rarely tempted to emphasise fugal subjects or thematically significant bass lines. His touch is delicate rather than muscular; everything is confident and decisive but nothing is emphatic or overstated. Gould at his finest!
Chart History/Awards – Reached #2 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Albums. – “Day Dreaming” reached #1 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Singles. – “Brand New Me” reached #1 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Singles. – GRAMMY®: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. – Included on VH1‘s “Greatest Albums of All Time.”
“…an extremely personal, beautiful record…controlled throughout by one sensibility, Miss Franklin’s…” – Rolling Stone