Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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Sweet mixture of retro-soul, Motown-soul from Paradis
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 08/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Kravitz gets to do what Prince did for talent such as Vanity, Sheila E. and Apollonia, do the satellite artist thing. He chose the French soft, breathy little-girl voiced soul-pop chanteuse Vanessa Paradis as his songbird and with the exception of one song, all music, most of the instruments, and lyrics were done by Kravitz. As a result, some of the music sounds like something from a Lenny Kravitz album, such as the opening track, "Natural High."I first heard "I'm Waiting For The Man" when it was sung by Paradis, and when I later compared it to the Velvet Underground version, saw that Kravitz and his musicians mimicked the sound, even that trademark guitar, to a tee, so there was no way she could mess this song up."Silver And Gold" bewails digging up the Earth for the title resources. She doesn't do as well on these minimalist ballads, highlighted by a guitar and drum, which is something similar Kravitz would do on Are You Gonna Go My Way, released a year later. Well-intentioned, but not convincing with her vocals.Yow! "Be My Baby", with its upbeat string arrangements and Motown-like drums recalls Supremes-style numbers like "Nothing But Heartaches" and "Baby Love." Heck, I could even picture Diana and the Supremes doing this! A standout cut and one of the songs Marva sings in the Belgian comedy Everybody's Famous.The sad and melodic fantasy "Lonely Rainbows" is a much better vehicle for Paradis than "Silver And Gold" as it has strings and piano. The place beyond the rainbow is "a place we can hide/... where we always be together." Sounds like Oz to me. Kravitz himself sings a few lines solo.A harpsichord sets the melody of the skippy canter of "Sunday Mondays", recalling an idyllic Beatles, Supremes, or Petula Clark number: "Let's go walking through the park today/I love Sunday Mondays any day/when the skies are blue and it's not grey/I'll take Sunday Mondays any every day." After hearing the trombone solo, I thought, "okay, something Nancy Sinatra might do too." She also sings, "Sometimes its fun/to just escape and run/And levae the troubled world behind." Sound advice.The lush easy-listening of "Your Love Has Got A Handle On My Mind" sounds like a Dusty Springfield or Petula Clark number, although I doubt either two had a coral sitar in their sessions.Funky drums and guitar make the slow 1970's blaxploitation-style number "The Future Song." It's the usual philosophical tract of paving the way for the future. Again, something I can picture on a Kravitz album.The pop-jazz fusion instrumental jam "Paradis" has Vanessa whispering breathy French in the background.The Drifters/Motown soul of "Just As Long As You Are There" features a lovely gospel-like choir and church ensemble.Using modern comparisons, Rachel Farris is a less-refined, shriller version of Vanessa Paradis. A mixture of Kravitz-style retro-soul and lush Motown productions, underscored by a breathy, little-girl voice makes Vanessa Paradis's debut album a mixed but pleasing affair."
Lenny Kravitz vs. Vanessa Paradis.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 10/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm pleasantly surprised this CD is actually still in print. When it came out in 1992, it didn't quite make a splash on the charts, despite production from Lenny Kravitz. Still, this is an overall agreeable CD that Kravitz fans should consider. Lenny is a musician who sounds as though he hasn't listened to a note of music past 1979, explaining the retro feel of this album. There's psychedelica in the catchy "Always Be My Baby," as well as the 1970s soulful swagger of "Natural High" and "Just As Long As You Are There." But while "Vanessa Paradis" is a fun listen, the lyrics are amazingly banal and cliche-ridden, showing once again that Lenny Kravitz is no gifted wordsmith. And Paradis's voice, a girlish warble, lacks both strength and personality to carry any of these songs. Still, if you're a Kravitz diehard, this album may qualify as a worthy listen out of curiosity."
Psychadelic oooh la la...
Daniel J. Hamlow | 09/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i love this album and it has been in my cd player ever since it came out in 1992. it has a great 60's/70's overtone to it. the vocals are breathy and "babydoll" like. standout tracks include "waiting for my man," "sunday mondays," "natural high" "be my baby" & "your love has got a handle on my mind." will we ever see a follow up?"