If you have heard the album (and perhaps listened with the lyrics in mind as well), here's your chance to voice your opinion. In addition to providing a site for your full review, there are two questions you may want to consider:
1) Which 5 songs do you like best?
To provide perspective, this was asked on the official site forum, and as of this moment, here is the tally of number of times each song was included in the top five:
Mlle. Hyde : 27 Russian Song: 20 Russian Fairy Tale: 16 Demain n'existe pas: 15 Desperate Housewife: 15 Toccami: 14 Llora: 11 Ever Ever Land: 11 Vocalization: 8 Mama: 7 Tomorrow is a Lie: 7 Lou: 5 Mr. President : 2
2) How would you rank "Mlle Hyde" as an album compared to Lara's others? To give the answer structure, you might rank numerically (with 1 the best) this album against others that people feel were Lara's best:
Carpe Diem Pure Lara Fabian (1st English album) Nue A Wonderful Life Mlle. Hyde Other
Mlle. Zhivago is Lara's first concept album, a look into different sides of a woman. The songs have been put to film in part of an incredible project that Lara has not attempted before. This album is different from the past albums of Lara, but that could be largely due to the project she has created.
The Songs The lyrics that Lara has written for the album are not what fans have come to expect from her. The lyrics are more simple and plain, whereas in the past alot of Lara's lyrics were more poetic and mysterious with the meaning sometimes in question. This is not a personal album (like Nue or Pure), although her personal life has made an impact on some of the songs (like Mama and Lou). Lara's voice is powerful as ever, proving that she has not lost anything.
Demain N'Existe Pas / Tomorrow is a Lie > These two tracks are French/English versions with the same music. It's an incredible inspirational song about taking each day at a time and making the most of it. The only complaint I have with this song is the horn that seems to come out of no where, and distracts from the beauty of this incredible song. 9/10
Toccami > This is probably the sexiest song that Lara has recorded. The Italian lyrics weave a thread of seduction around the listener's ears. Though this type of song is not usually something I enjoy, I find myself enjoying it. 8/10
Llora > This Spanish song is a mystery to me. The lyrics and music are beautiful but I just can't connect with it. I don't know what it is. 7/10
Russian Fairy Tale > This song has dream-like imagery. The lyrics on this song are more of what I tend to expect from Lara, in the way that they are poetic but to me, the song seems to lack meaning and purpose. It's a beautiful song, but I wonder what Lara's trying to get at with it. 7/10
Mlle. Hyde > This incredible song breathes a mystery, a battle within a woman. The two sides that cannot agree but are still a part of the core of who she is. This song is sensual in the mystery, and the power and emotion that Lara sings with is incredible. It's one of those songs that it's hard to imagine someone else being able to sing it even close to what Lara does. 10/10
Desperate Housewife > This is a beautiful song about a woman unhappy with her life. Lara's lyrics are emotional and right on. 9/10
Lou > An Italian lullaby, that's a tribute to Lara's daughter Lou. It tells how becoming a mother can change a woman. The song shows a different part of Lara's voice than we are used to hearing. A beautiful song. 8/10
Ever Everland > This is a song about the power the mind has to be able to escape and center yourself in your dreams. The ability to imagine another world where your problems don't exist and you feel at peace. 8/10
Mr. President > This is Lara's call to save the world for our children. It's full of meaning and purpose. I find that the first verse starts something great but the song seems to drop off in quality after that. For the type of song, it does great and Lara more than gets her point across. 7/10
Mama > An absolutely beautiful tribute to mothers (or Lara's mother), that not only shows that influence that Mothers have but also the sacrifice they made to make their children be as good as they can be. This is probably the best tribute to mothers that I have heard. 9/10
Vocalise > It's a beautiful piece of music, but yet it feels like it's missing something. I find that by the end of the song, it gets boring. It feels that it could have used more lyrics or should have been shorter. 6/10
Russian Song> A beautiful Russian love song that has Lara's voice simply shining. 9/10
I find with this album, is the first time in Lara's career I've really had an issue with the arrangements. I found that there were times that some part of the accompanying instruments was distracting from the song. I'm very much of the belief that the music should be used to bring out the song and to deepen the meaning of the lyrics, but I found at times the accompaniment did the opposite. For example, the horn in Tomorrow is a Lie/Demain N'existe Pas made me think what is that doing there, taking my attention from the beautiful song that is being performed.
This is a great project from Lara and Igor, but it does not show the same Lara that I'm used to getting when I buy her studio albums. I find that I can't relate to this album as I could with her past albums. I find myself singing along but the songs don't seem to touch my soul like alot of Lara's older music has. Most of the time I get a new album from Lara I can't stop listening to it for weeks after its release and barely listen to anyone else, but with this album that didn't happen. Despite all that, this project is an incredible piece of work. The difficult subjects that Lara attempted to take on through song and passed with flying colours (Mr. President, Mama, Ever Everland). Lara truly captured a lot of the things that women tend to care about and what seems to impact them. It's a magnificent project and one that Lara should be truly proud about.
--------------------------------------------------------------------- To me, the album would rank 5th behind "A Wonderful Life", "Nue", "Pure", and her English debut.
My top 5: 1. Mlle. Hyde 2. Russian Song 3. Tomorrow is a Lie 4. Mama 5. Desperate Housewife
Thanks for these reviews! I've waited a month to make sure my opinion is fairly set, so...
Lara has been best known, frankly, for her earlier work, basically from the mid 90s through early 2000s; but if it is widely enough circulated, this album will change all that. In interviews Lara has called this project (the album plus the movie clips) THE project of her career, one that was fated to occur given that she was named for the lead female role in the movie. The album portion that we now have does nothing to contradict her statement. It is perhaps the most beautiful of her albums; not as powerful as ‘Pure’, not with the extreme vocal gymnastics of her first English album, not as poetic and tightly knit as ‘Nue’, and not as self-searching as ‘A Wonderful Life’. But the most beautiful, and, for me, perhaps the most enjoyable.
On her previous albums, Lara’s voice and/or message was the chief selling point, but on this one it is the music. The obvious difference here is that she did not write it. Igor Krutoi is known as a MOR composer, and that characterization is accurate in this case as well. With wonderful melodies and soaring instrumentation, the album could be completely instrumental and it would be great to listen to. It lifts the spirit.
It also turns out that, as Lara has said, his music is right in her musical range. In a convergence of trends, it comes just following the time that Pascal Negre of Universal Records encouraged Lara to once again give full vent to her vocal abilities. She does so on this album, amplifying the melodies with some of her best singing. The combination of Igor’s music and Lara’s vocals make this album fully 5 stars.
Lara wrote the lyrics after hearing the music, and they are much more straightforward than previously. Lara has said that the music informs her what the lyrics should be, so it makes sense that the MOR quality of the melodies result in lyrics to match. While that does mean they are somewhat less poetic, it is part of why the album is so accessible. Furthermore, the lyrics are less concerned about love and more about other issues – family, society, philosophy. Undoubtedly this mirrors her personal life, now in a seemingly stable committed family relationship for the first time since she has had to produce lyrics for an album.
There is no weak song on the disc – every one is memorable in its own way. In a recent poll of fans concerning their top five favorites, each song got listed by someone. If I was dragged into making such a list myself, I could not confine myself to five. My top 10 would be: “Mama moya”, “Llora”, “Demaine n’existe pas”/”Tomorrow is a Lie” (same melody, different language and words), “Mademoiselle Zhivago”, ‘The ‘Russian song’”, “Lou”, “Mr. President”, “Ascolta la voce” and “Toccami”; but this would do a disservice to the other three. All are different enough from one another that the sound is never boring, and they all have their point to make. Lara sings with full range and is quite powerful when required (though I must say I’ve never been a big fan of her habit of turning downward at the end of some of her high notes). It is clearly her greatest vocal challenge since AWL some six years ago, and it is a very welcome occurrence that she acquits herself so nicely.
So far the album has only been available (on-line) from the Ukraine and Russia (and therefore of course ‘ebay’). It is reportedly a big hit in those countries, again deservedly so. How it will sell elsewhere is uncertain, not because of its quality but because of the tastes of the general public. In France, ‘singers of voice’ have long been out of style, and with this album Lara certainly falls into that category – she will undoubtedly be accused of “hurler” (funny that in some other genres, if you don’t scream, people think your music isn’t any good!). In addition, old time fans may long for the more complex lyrics that have characterized her past work. In the U.S. tastes are so quixotic that quality seems to have little to do with it. So one can’t guarantee that this album will be as fully appreciated as it should be. Nevertheless, whatever company releases this elsewhere (even if it is only Lara’s "9 Productions”), they should make every effort to allow people all over the world to hear it, and one listening is all that is required to recognize how good it is.
Ultimately, though, from a purist standpoint, sales doesn’t matter. Lara and Igor should be congratulated for producing a masterpiece, which ultimately may well define Lara for a future (non-Francophile) audience.
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2010 12:56:40 GMT -5 by davidhr