Search - Karen Akers :: Under Paris Skies

Under Paris Skies
Karen Akers
Under Paris Skies
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Karen Akers
Title: Under Paris Skies
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Cabaret Records
Original Release Date: 11/10/1995
Re-Release Date: 1/30/1996
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Easy Listening, Vocal Pop, Musicals, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 737877501926, 737877501940

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CD Reviews

C'est magnifique!
Joseph Fusco | Columbus, OH USA | 06/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is as fine a collection of French music of the post-war period as I have ever heard, old or new. The arrangements are outstanding and the artist does justice to the French. I am particularly gratified that Ms Akers renders the songs as they were intended in that lovely language. She sings in clear, beautiful French.
If you are a fan of Parisian cabaret then you will love this CD. If you want an introduction to it, this is an excellent choice as well.
Merci, Karen Akers."
Piaf would have been proud.
Mary Whipple | New England | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Karen Akers's long dream of recording a CD in French is realized here, as she enters the vocal milieu of Edith Piaf, whose earlier versions of many of these songs still echo in Akers's simple arrangements. Akers's French sounds natural. She is comfortable (and brave) singing some of Piaf's most famous songs, and her acting ability enhances many of these songs by giving them new phrasing and new life. Ranging from a whisper to a strong, full-out alto, she remains in total control throughout, both of the melody and of her own emotional interpretation. Hers is a big voice, but she wisely subdues it, resisting the temptation of vocal histrionics in favor of more subtle interpretations for these romantic songs.

Most of her accompaniments are understated. In "Under Paris Skies," the primary accompaniment is the accordion, with some emphasis achieved with a bell lyre. "Un Jour, Tu Verras," the piano, clarinet, and bass keep things simple, while the accordion is used near the end. "La Vie en Rose," one of Piaf's most famous songs, is sung more slowly to a piano accompaniment (Michael Abene), with Akers achieving great passion and exaggerating the guttural French R's. Her strong voice is higher than Piaf's and more melodic, and though it is less "gutty," it is equally effective in wresting emotion from the lyrics.

A Charles Aznavour song, "Une Enfante," about a flower child dying beside the road because she can not live on love alone, incorporates the urgency of passionate love, then slows to a poignant recognition of reality. One of the most effective songs on the album is "La Chanson des Vieux Amants," a Jacques Brel song about old lovers and the "tender war" which keeps them both energized.

Filled with passion, which she conveys through her phrasing, sometimes slower tempos, simple accompaniments, and her variations in volume, Karen Akers does justice to the songs of Piaf, Aznavour, and Brel, giving them fresh sounds and meanings, and enlarging her repertoire for the world stage. Mary Whipple
Powerful. Bravo!
alamsami | 03/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A beautiful album.
Karen Akers is one of those few artists who could interprete those classic French standards with such class & Parisien style. She does a great job with Piaf's "Padam Padam", "La vie en rose" and the rest of the songs are spellbinding, her voice is in great shape. Simply breathtaking!