Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Variations Sur Le Meme T'Aime
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
1998 reissue on Mercury of 1990 album, the majority of whichis songs written by Serge Gainsbourg. 12 tracks, including 'L'amour A Deux', 'Dis Lui Toi Que Je T'aime' and a cover ofLou Reed's 'Walk On The Wild Side'. Digipak... more »
1998 reissue on Mercury of 1990 album, the majority of whichis songs written by Serge Gainsbourg. 12 tracks, including 'L'amour A Deux', 'Dis Lui Toi Que Je T'aime' and a cover ofLou Reed's 'Walk On The Wild Side'. Digipak. 1998 Polydor release.
Yeah, It's Great
WnB | Laguna Beach, CA United States | 11/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best of the VP studio albums, only bested by her first live CD. Vanessa's vocal quality and choice of music here are first rate. Even as a non French speaker I liked this more than her '92 US release with Lenny Kravitz. Most songs are mid tempo, more upbeat than ballads, but slower than straight ahead rock tunes. All are arranged with a compelling blend of tension and power. If you were interested enough to find a page containing a 1990 French Pop CD, I think you love it."
The Pinnacle of Perfection : Greatest French Album of All Ti
Cabir Davis | 06/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How does this little-known 1990 album remain the Greatest French Pop Album ever recorded?
I don't know how she did it, but almost 20 years after it was first released, "Variations Sur le Meme T'Aime" remains that most curious animal - a moderately successful album that not many people remember - yet one that has entered the record books as being perhaps the most critically acclaimed French album of all time. You wouldn't know it just by looking at it, but Vanessa Paradis' sophomore album with Serge Gainsbourg is not just a beautiful CD. Anyway you dissect it, it remains a timeless slice of just how amazing French pop can get when put into the right hands.
Vanessa Paradis was still 18 years old when this was released, and listening to it in the 2000s makes you realize that this is one of those CDs that actually gets better with time. The melodies are still stark and clear, the production is excellent, and the voice is as lovely as ever. If you heard this when it first came out, and if you hear it now, you won't be disappointed. This album has been one of my best friends through some of the most incredible times of my life (my first job, my first relationship) and I can still listen to it today and not feel anything except pure joy and amazement at the sheer artistry contained within.
If you're skeptical, well, I would say you need to get this first before being critical. People normally wonder how a Vanessa Paradis record could be any good (she is known for her almost Minnie Mouse-style vocals, and hasn't produced a bonafide hit in years). In fact, her best known single "Joe Le Taxi" is what she's remembered for, which is a pity. This particular album houses all her best work. Not even her 2000 album "Bliss" (which is a masterpiece in its' own right) is as good as this.
First, the best tracks:
1. "Au Charme Non Plus" : I said it in 1990, and I'll say it again - this has got to be one of the most melodious and emotionally affecting pop songs ever put to record. Coupled with an unforgettable chorus (another strong point of this CD), this is the highlight of the album. The opening beats alone are worth the price of admission, but that chorus! Its heart-stopping, and timeless. I can listen to this back to back and still crave listening to it. Take it from a pro. I've been listening to this track for 17 years now, and I still haven't gotten tired of it.
2. "Amour Jamais" : Now this might sound like its got a bit too much synthetic production, but it's a fierce pop number that is instantly memorable after just one listen. I have had friends who have wanted to borrow this album just for this song - in fact, I lost the copy I bought in 2001 precisely due to this. Vanessa laments the curse of love on this one, and her delicate vocal harmonies coupled with a killer chorus elevate the track to a whole new plane.
3. "Dis Lui Toi Que Je T'aime" : The hit single from this record (well, sort of hit single - it stalled on the French charts) is a gorgeous ballad with Celine Dion-style instrumentation. I hate Celine, but in this case, the song goes from being just OK to being exceptional due to some interesting lyrical content and Vanessa's powerhouse vocals. There is a live version of this song on the "Live" album that I prefer, but the original is still very pretty.
4. "Tandem" :One of the greatest French songs ever written, without a doubt. I remember seeing the video when I was about 14 and being shocked by the overtly sexual imagery (though it looks pretty tame these days). The song is a faux-rock track, and the melody and style is most closely related to "Cowboy Style: by Kylie Minogue - this is meant in the best way possible because "Tandem" almost completely defines the `cool' factor this CD possesses.
5. "L'Amour a Deux" :This is Track 1 on the CD, and is a slow jazz number that rises to almost gospel-mania before settling again into somber territory. As an opening track, it introduces you to just how excellent the record is, and everytime it spins you are surprised by just how advanced the recording sounds despite being a product of the late 1980s.
Those were the standout tracks. The others are excellent overall, as well. I would especially recommend "Ophelie" and "Ardoise" as well - two very different songs, but almost uniformly compelling. The title track is a nice play on words. "T'Aime" in French means "I love you", and in the context of the title it also means "Theme" (which has the same meaning as the English word). The title therefore means either "Variations on the same "I love you"" and "Variations on the same theme" - and the end impact is a combination of both titles as they obviously interconnect.
This album to me remains the greatest French language album to this day. I am not being biased or overtly gushing here, just honest. It goes without saying that every track is a winner, but what is utterly glorious about it is that despite being quite old it hasn't lost the title to any album since, not even an album by Vanessa herself. Much of this is probably due to Serge Gainsbourg, the French musical genius who created this alongwith Vanessa - his personality shines through on every single track, and I have to wonder if this is not the most shining star in his arsenal of quality musical output.
One of the reviewers here said that this album defined `cool' even before `cool' existed. I have to agree. Again, I don't know HOW they did it, but this album gets everything right - music, lyrics, production, and more than that, it SPEAKS to you, and becomes a VERY integral part of your life very quickly. I have often found myself sifting through my Ipod wondering if I want to listen to Radiohead, Janet Jackson, Noa or Tori Amos, and almost every single time, I reach for "Au Charme Non Plus" and sit back once again in the cozy world this album so readily offers.
This is not an album, it's a life-altering experience of the highest order. I don't think Vanessa possibly had the maturity to realize what she created when she recorded this at such a young age, but its an enduring manuscript of the highest caliber of pop music, and sits at the top of my list as the Greatest French Album ever recorded.
Five Stars. It doesn't get better than this. Buy. Now.
Dance Dance Dance | 10/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vanessa's best album. I love all the tracks. My favorite is Vague a Lame."