I am not ready to give a full review of TLFM but this is my first reaction.
When I first heard the CD nothing jumped out at me. I have since heard it about four times and I like all but 2 or 3 songs. The two that I like the most are "Une Femme Avec Toi" and " Nuit Magique". The two I like least are "J'ai Douze Ans" and "Amoureuse". The more I hear TLFM the more I like it. Hopefully the few songs I don't care for will start to grow on me.
I like the way Lara sings "L'hymen a L'amour" and "Mamy Blue". It's very hard to cover popular songs and by changing them to make them your own you do not compete with the original artist. Lara did a great job with them.
Last Edit: May 28, 2009 17:34:37 GMT -5 by lapayin
As the days pass I have to say that I like TLFM more and more....
Nuit Magique was my favorite from the begging but now I change my favorite song every day... Now,it's Babacar and yesterday was Ca casse!
Soleil soleil is classical... J'ai douze ans was my first love Amoureuse is growing inside me Gottingen is just amazing Il venait d'avoir 18 ans, I like the way it starts Mamy mamyyyyyyy...well I looove it!!!! Une femme avec toi...well this reminds me the songs which belong in a music compilation... Ca casse....I like the part with the vocals and Lara's voice singing Ca caaasse!!!! L'amour existe encore....totally perfect!!!!especially the part after 2.08 Message Personnel is sooooo sweet... TLFM...that's one of my favorite...I like its rhythm....tout tout est ici-bas♪♫ Nuit Magique...is just magical!!!I feel like I'm flying among the stars... L'hymne a l'amour is quite long but I liked it when I listen to it on the radio.
In “Toutes les femmes en moi” Lara Fabian has for the first time in her career made a ‘vocalist’s’ album (as opposed to a ‘singer-songwriter’ album). I’ve wondered for a long time what Lara could do if freed from the responsibility to provide the lyrics/music – to just be a great singer singing great songs. And here, with just such an album, she does not disappoint.
Lara’s singing is simply gorgeous, the product of a true musical master, working in her element. She displays her usual perfect phrasing and wide vocal range, and the beauty and purity of her voice is crystal clear. She does not show the (sometimes extreme) emotional intensity of her earlier albums; it is somewhere in-between them and “Neuf”. Therefore, her singing should satisfy just about everybody.
The songs themselves are somewhat classics, so a review of them would seem superfluous. This is a very even album – for most albums, even the best ones, there are a few cuts that cause me to grit my teeth a bit, or skip past them. Not this one – each song has something special about it that makes it worth listening to. This evenness is shown by how the fans and critics grade the various songs – there is no consensus whatsoever, with almost every song making the list of someone’s best (and also someone’s least appreciated). I too find my favorite song(s) changing from day to day – but over the past several weeks, I’ve ended up humming to myself almost every one of them.
In a funny way, this continual high quality almost works against the album – we notice things particularly in contrast, and a really good song stands out so much better if surrounded by weaker ones. Take almost any of these songs and put them on Lara’s earlier albums, and they might well stand out more than they do here amongst their equally-as-enjoyable neighbors. I find her alterations of the classic songs perfectly workable, driven by her magnificent voice.
The album is also special in non-musical ways. Lara’s wonderfully endearing and informative letters to each of the singers whose songs are used provides a meaningful backdrop to the whole enterprise. Rather than just being a collection of covers, it gives the album a unity associated with how they fit into her growth as a woman and as an artist.
The album has not gotten particularly good reviews from the critics, and even some of her fans. There are several reasons for this.
First, this album is of a different nature than her previous CDs, and it should mark a change in expectation from the listener. As a vocalist’s album, her singing becomes the top priority, not the accompanying musicians and not the lyrics, although the sentiments expressed by the words are quite affecting. [Lara of course chose the songs, so the lyrics are presumably indicative of her thoughts as well.] An album of this nature does not demand sophisticated musical accompaniment to carry the emotional peaks and depths of the song – that is left primarily to the singer (which is actually in direct contrast to the aborted October release, where in the 6 songs we heard, the music carried most of the feeling, and Lara went along for the ride). Essentially, the musicians are there to provide a supporting framework, and, really, to get out of the way. The complaint going around is that her musical backing is little more than karaoke music. Actually, the music behind her is not that simple if you listen carefully, but the mixing emphasizes primarily her voice and the rhythm section (as one often hears in karaoke), with an occasional chorus or strings for added flavor. [Again, in direct contrast to the October album, where the music was mixed to a higher volume than her voice.] The choice to emphasize the vocals here is clearly intentional (as we also know from Pascal Negre’s comments about wanting it that way). This is an album for the singer to shine, and who better than Lara to do it?
In addition, except for Lara’s original contribution, all the songs are relatively well-known to the French public. That puts an additional burden on the audience, for they have to be able to reorient themselves from what they have grown to love (or at least are familiar with) towards Lara’s approach. Again, from some of the comments in the press, there is a reluctance on the part of a number of them to do that. However, to appreciate this album, one has to accept it for what it is – Lara’s take on what those songs mean to her, including an attempt to modernize the sound.
It is of course the perfect right of listeners to disagree with Lara’s interpretation. But I feel there’s an additional aspect to some of the comments. This whole concept is audacious; despite Lara’s humble letters to the other singers, she is daring to redo some of the classics of French pop music, and is putting herself on the level of those who first sang them. To make matters worse, Lara has changed the sound. For those who didn’t like Lara to begin with, this is an added affront. One can read this sentiment behind the complaints in the Platine review. For this class of reviewer, it’s not so much that the interpretation is faulty, it’s that she is daring to make an interpretation at all.
Lara will be giving an extensive series of concerts in France over the next six months. She will appear on TV and in the various media, promoting this album. She will have every opportunity to allow the public to ‘get used to’ her versions. I am confident that the more they hear them, the more Lara’s great singing will alter people’s perceptions of these songs and her right to sing them. At that point I would imagine we will see this album appreciated for what it is – a magnificent vocal testament to one of the best singers of our time.
Last Edit: May 31, 2009 17:50:32 GMT -5 by davidhr
Very nice comments David. I agree with all that you wrote.
"I’ve wondered for a long time what Lara could do if freed from the responsibility to provide the lyrics/music – to just be a great singer singing great songs. And here, with just such an album, she does not disappoint."
I have not read your translations of the TLFM songs for exactly this reason. Since Lara did not write them (except 1) I am trying to appreciate them for her singing abilities. I am only familiar with a couple of the songs and I am not ready to listen to the originals for comparision. I will eventually get to the lyrics and original performances but for now I am just totally enjoying TLFM and Lara.
It seems to me that most of Lara's albums have a specific meaning in her life. Maybe this more than any.
I really didn¡¦t like previous from TLFM, when they were made available on youtube from the fan meeting in October. I was little disappointed and though that I might not like the cd, but fortunately, I was wrong. I love it! It is always hard to listen to a well known song being sing with a new style and by a new voice. For me, that was not a major problem since I only knew 3 of the songs out of the entire cd. Lara¡¦s voice in general is perfect as always. Her voices is gladly still the same that we all love. Soleil Soleil at first sounded a little repetitive but after a while it sounded just perfect, is an outgoing song that is very well done. Femme Avec toi, is nice to hear, her vocals are great, but I¡¦m not really crazy about the song. TLFM is just great to hear¡KI think it might be one of my favorites in cd. The lyrics don¡¦t seems to make too much sense to me after reading the translation, but I have learned that it is really hard to translate something without losing the meaning, especially in poetry, so that might be the case. Either way, I love it and have it as my ringtoneƒº. I love love love TLFM¡Kgreat ending. Amoureuse, is just amazing; her vocals are perfect¡Kvery very nicely done. This song is another one that is on my favorites. This song fits her voice perfectly. No doubt. J'ai douze ans, also on my top favorites¡K..the first time I heard her singing it in Quelque chose en nous, I found myself flying just by listening to her voice. Her arrangements with this song is the best¡K.everything I listen to that beautiful melody and her extraordinary voice I feel in heaven. Great arrangement¡K¡Kthe chorus also gives the song a perfect touch. I heard the original song and Lara made it all her own¡Kas usual Lara is exceptional with this song. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Nuit Magique¡K.what can I say about this song..pure magic, I like it very much too¡Kthe melody and Lara¡¦s voice go great together. Message Pesonnel¡KI was addicted to this song when I heard Lara and Laura singing it live at the kids contest show.¡Kthe cd version is not bad at all, but I think I would have like it better if she would have skip the spoken verse. I also find the ending of the song too long with the chorus singing. Nice to hear¡K..not a favorite. L'hymne a l'amour¡K. I was really eager and curious to hear Lara¡¦s version of this great song. I have to say that I think that the beginning and the end seem to be too long and too slow. I think that making this song slow makes it lose its greatness. I love when Lara sang this song with Patrick, that was a great duet and a great arrangement for the song. I find the CD version a little bit boring, I also find the backup singer getting in the way of the song and making the song weaker. Lara has such a great voice that I think she should have taken advantage of that and make it even bigger than the original version. If there is someone who could have done that¡K.that was Lara. I am a little disappointed with this version. Mamy Blue, nicely done, great arrangements and nice rhythm. The backup singers actually fit perfectly in this song. Nice to hear. L'amour Existe Encore¡K.not too much difference from Celine¡¦s version, but of course Lara¡¦s voice is incomparable! Lara¡¦s voice is much stronger and believable. Lara is clearly singing her heart out, and that¡¦s what makes the song her own. I prefer her version of courseƒº. Gottingen, even though I am not really a fan of this song, I love the arrangements Lara did with this song. Her vocals are just perfect. One can really tell that she is truly trying to send a message, with that passion that only Lara knows how to express through a song. Totally her own¡Kexcellent job. Il Venait d'avoir 18 Ans¡K.great selection, such a powerful song from Dalida. Lara¡¦s voice here shines throughout the entire song. Also one of my favorites on the cd. I would love to hear her singing this song live. This song is just Perfection¡Kthat¡¦s all I have to say. Babacar¡K..nice rythmn, sounds a little bit old though. Fun to hear¡Kcatchy ou est tu?, ou est tu? An okay song for me. Ca Casse¡Kwhen I first heard that she was singing this song I was not very happy. I really don¡¦t like the original version. Maurane¡¦s voice is not my favorite to listen to; therefore I didn¡¦t find this song a good choice. After hearing Lara¡¦s version of it¡KI found myself listening to it over and over again. Lara¡¦s voice is this song is just perfect¡K¡Kshe truly made this song sound perfect. Lara did a great job with this album, as others said it is not easy to take someone else¡¦s song and make it their own. All that waiting was worth it, as always Lara delivered. I am still waiting for my cd to get shipped but it¡¦s out of stock and now I have to wait ƒ¼ I was wondering if someone could translate the thank you letters that Lara wrote to the singers as well the letter thanking all her family and friends. Thank You!
"Music is the universal language of mankind.” - Henry Wadsworth
Post by laralovelife on Jun 9, 2009 23:55:39 GMT -5
I personally lately in the past week have actually gravitated towards the album "9", and away from TLFM, I love the new album, it's different but i think a little more subtle, and being that is basically a remake album, its kinda a mixes bag for me, the music seems a bit pushed, and the vcal dont seem as sincere or poinent as the last studio album.
I love the tracks, TLFM, Soleil, soliel, J' ai douze ans, mamy blue is different but a catchy tune, une femme avec toi is nice, I love Ca Casse, its a different sound that works great, Lmore exist encore is a classic remade by Lara, don't care for Celines version, its too choppy, I like the melody of Message perssonel, Nuit magique, is a drifter while sleeping, L'hyme a l'amore is good, but gets power at the 2nd half of the song where she busts out the vocals!!
Overall, I like the album, but I have to find its magic through a few more listens, I liked the 9 album after listening to it over and over and that was after a became aquainted with the un regard 9 album via itunes, but yeah im really in the spirit of "9" right now, I guess its because i just got the dvd of the 9 music videos in the mail and im going back and forth between the dvd and the album!
I have listened to TLFM non stop since I bought the album. The more I listen the more I love it. I don’t want to compare it to Lara’s other CDs because it’s a cover album. Lara is such a complete package with music, lyrics, voice, interpretation and performance. Here is what I think.
“Soleil Soleil” – A feel good song. I smile every time I hear it. It just makes me feel happy. I like that Lara added the English to it.
“J’ai Douze Ans” – I didn’t like “J’ai Douze Ans” at first. Then it grew on me quickly. The lyrics gave me a whole new meaning to the song (you were right David!). I now know why Lara picked it for her album. I love the way Lara sighs before she sings “Qu'est-ce que je vais faire? (What is it that I’m going to do?)” It shows Lara’s great interpretation and emotion when she sings.
“Amoureuse” – Although I like this song, it’s my least favorite on TLFM. That said I think Lara sings it perfectly.
“Gottingen” – This song I liked from the beginning and it’s still one of my favorites. Again the lyrics made me realize why Lara chose it. A great song all around music, lyrics and of course Lara’s voice.
“Il Venait D'avoir 18 Ans – The thing that stands out for me in this song is that Lara hits a couple of notes that totally fill my head and soul with awe. I was driving to work and playing TLFM fairly loud and when I heard Lara sing “Un ciel superbe” it took my breath away. And it happened again when she sang “Avec la candeur infernale De sa jeunesse”.
“Mamy Blue” – I love the way Lara sings “Mamy Blue”. It has a great rhythm to it. It was one of the few songs I was familiar with before this album.
“Une Femme Avec Toi” – This is one of my favorite songs. I love the music, the lyrics and Lara sings it so well. She sings it with passion. I love the way her power builds.
“Ca Casse” – It’s a song that took a little while to grow on me. The lyric subject matter reminds me of a few songs Lara wrote.
“ L'amour Existe Encore” – Another great all around song in which Lara shows her power. Compared to her earlier singing, Lara’s power seems to be more controlled.
“Message Personnel” – This is a nice easy listening song. It fits in well with all the other songs on this album.
“Toutes Les Femmes En Moi” – Lara has written a great song. The music and the lyrics are awesome. I can’t wait to see the video for this song.
“All the women in me Are sovereigns I am a little Of each of them Strong or fragile Gentle or rebel All the women in me are mixed”
“That in our DNA Is inscribed all the faults And that God reassures One does not want some from him It is in our big deletions That they owe this karma God is a woman It is certain
She will pardon us She will pardon us”
There are criticisms that the music of this song sounds a little like Patrick Fiori’s “Toutes Les Peines”. I have to admit I think the refrain does, but not the rest of the song. I love this song.
“Nuit Magique” – This is my favorite song of this album. I love everything about it. I love Lara’s singing, vocalizing, emphasis of certain words, the music and the lyrics. I like the way Lara ends it with "OK". It’s a chanson magique. I wish it was longer.
As restck1989 said " I feel like I'm flying among the stars..." Exactly!!
“L’hymne a L’amour” – This is the second song that I am familiar with. Lara sings an interesting version of “L’hymne a L’amour”. It was never a favorite of mine, although I loved Lara and Patrick singing it. It must have been their chemistry. LOL I like the gospel way Lara sings this song but it is a bit long.
To sum up, I love TLFM. I believe it’s a well put together album and Lara chose excellent songs. After reading the translations and somewhat knowing Lara I can understand why she picked most of these songs.
Last Edit: Jun 19, 2009 22:24:54 GMT -5 by lapayin
Well, I have listened to the above album about 5 times and I have to say that it is a lovely album and Lara sounds wonderful! I don't know much about the original versions of some of the songs that she is covering to really compare and give an analytical view but here are the songs that stand out for me;
Amoureuse...beautiful song, Lara sounds wonderful, really suits her voice best.
Une Femme Avec Toi...love it...she sounds so sexy and her voice rich.
L'Amour Existe Encore...it definitely is a different version, much slower, she sounds very good, but I still prefer Celine Dion's version of this song.
Message Personnel...nice sound...would love to know what she is saying at the beginning.
TLFM...really like this song...great beat and vibe
Nuit Magique...simply amazing...Lara at her best again...her voice is fantastic!! I just became a first time grandmother....so this song really hit home with me.
oh and Gottingen has grown on me...nice beat, I find myself humming to this one alot.
This album reminds me alot of Neuf...with Lara's voice sounding almost instrumental. Neuf is one of the least albums I listen to by her, but I feel I will enjoy TLFM much more...my favourites are still NUE, ETI and A Wonderful Life.
I am really looking forward to EWIM - let's hope it surfaces soon.
I've listened to this album alot since I got it. One thing that really impresses me about the album, despite the fact it's a covers album, it has great flow. There are songs that I like more than others. I've only heard 2 of the songs before (not counting the leaked tracks from October) and they are "L'Amour Existe Encore" and "L'Hymne d'Amour".
Soliel, Soliel ~ It's a great summer song. Lara's vocals really add to the song.
J'ai Douze Ans ~ I love the emotion Lara puts into this song. This song has really grown on me.
Amoureuse ~ I love this song. I love how Lara's voice floats over the music, yet fills the song with so much emotion. The song is so smooth yet powerful and sincere.
Gottingen ~ Lara fills this song up (the emotion of the lyrics is fulfilled in her voice). An amazing song.
Il Venait d'avoir 18 ans ~ This is a great story song that Lara tells with the emotion that is needed.
Mamy Bleu ~ This song has great rhythm, yet a story full of emotion. Lara sings this song very well. She completes the story with the emotion that she sings with.
Une Femme Avec Toi ~ This is my least favourite song on the album, I suspect it's more the song than Lara version. I like how Lara builds the song at the end.
Ca Casse ~ Lara fills this song with emotion. She makes you feel it when she sings "Ca Casse". One of my favourites.
L'Amour Existe Encore ~ I love how Lara sings this song. She puts so much emotion into the lyrics and lets the song build. Lara brings the lyrics in a smooth telling of the lyrics.
I prefer Lara's version to Celine's, in fact I never really thought much of the song till I listened to Lara's version.
Message Personnel ~ When I first listened to this song. I had a lack of patience for the spoken part. I still feel the length of it takes away from the song. The part where Lara is singing is beautiful though, but the end goes a bit long.
Toutes Les Femmes en Moi ~ I love this song. The rhythm is great but the lyrics are even better. Lara has proved that she's still an amazing songwriter.
Nuit Magique ~ Lara sings this song so well. When I listen to it, I can imagine how she would perform it on stage. The emotions are there for all to hear, Lara puts everything into her voice. This song is so beautiful and the arrangements are amazing.
L'Hymne a L'Amour ~ Lara sings this song beautifully. I like how she made the song her own. The gospel part at the end is a nice touch, but a bit long.
Babacar (Bonus Track) ~ I love this song but I understand why it wasn't included in the CD version of the album. The song and the arrangements don't really go with the rest of the album. Lara does a great job with this song.
This album has given me new insight into what has made Lara the artist she is today. I can see the influences from these songs in the music she has written. This album is a welcome edition to my Lara library.
i finally got my copy of TLFM, after waiting two whole months! (stupid amazon.com, had to cancel my order and get it thru amazon.fr instead)
anyway, i just listened to the album and i love every song in it! i love the melodies and of course, her beautiful singing. i think my faves are Nuit Magique, Amoureuse, Il Venait d'avoir 18 ans and L'amour existe encore, i like her version a lot better than Celine's. personally, i think she can make any of Celine's french songs better :-) but all the songs are good, except maybe L'hyme a l'amour.
David, now i understand what you meant for i, too, love the "evenness" of this album. not knowing very much about french music, i am grateful to Lara for introducing these beautiful songs to an audience that might never have known them, but should. her voice and her singing are superb, reminds me again of what drew me to her in the first place. her voice just melts my heart........
TLFM is a really beautiful album, even better than 9 was (and i loved that too). sigh, now i have to wait for EWIM. too long!
Post by klonghopper on Aug 11, 2009 7:38:37 GMT -5
Delays... What is it with amazon.com; or is it a Universal's distribution directive?
I too ordered in early May only to recently be told, after many many extensions, amazon US would not be receiving the CD. Huh! If I remember correctly, I have checked their Canadian domain and they too were delayed--do not know if they too have cancelled orders like the US site.
Anyone know if there are North American distribution channels besides going to amazon.fr. and did South America get a release?
Oh well! Time to stop watching Russian videos of Lara and hit amazon.fr. When will 'they' learn we are in a GLOBAL world with no bounds and few limits.