As expected (or hoped for), the new English language album "Every Woman in Me" was on sale at the Zenith last night. The track list as posted on the forum of the official site is:
1) River (Joni Mitchell) 2) Both sides now (Joni Mitchell) 3) Alfie (Barbra Streisand) 4) Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Ella Fitzgerald) 5) Crazy (Patsy Cline) 6) Close to you (Karin Carpenter) 7) Wind beneath my wings (Bette Midler) 8) Do you know where you're going to (Diana Ross) 9) The man with the child in his eyes (Kate Bush) 10) Why (Annie Lenox) 11) Angel (Sarah McLachlan)
The cover of the album can be see in the following photograph (thanks to nicoleroy on the official site):
Thank you for this update, many people have been waiting for this! Still, it is a strange way to release an album.... If anybody on this forum finds a way to purchase it, please share the information. Most likely, though, we will have to wait for the famous online shop.
I am looking forward to Angel. One of my favourite songs, and I like Lara's version better than Sarah's.
One song missing from the list (and I'm sure everybody will have their own example) is "I Will Always Love You" from Whitney Houston. The reasons for mentioning it are that we know Lara has sung it (though not recently) and, more directly, she mentioned previously that she would have something from Whitney Houston on EWIM. Perhaps she's referring to one of the other songs (like Alfie) that Whitney Houston may have sung.
I just listened to what is on youtube and I am very impressed! This album is breathtakingly beautiful!! I do not want to critizise TLFM, but given the choice I would prefer EWIM any day. I can only hope that it will be available soon, and maybe Universal might see the commercial opportunity here and pick it up as well. Maybe this is the album that many fans have been waiting for.....
Why would they sell this album in France at one of her concerts to a mostly french speaking audience, who may or may not know a lot of the English songs? And why would it not be made available here in North America to purchase?
I love all the songs. The only song I'm less than impressed with is "Crazy", but that's probably due more to being used to Patsy Cline's amazing version than Lara. "Why" is so amazing, I never could get into it before, but I'm blown away by Lara's version.
I much prefer EWIM to TLFM, but that could be the language barrier.
I wrote a message to the official site asking about the availability of EWIM. Today, I received an answer, stating that it would be available to order online through the new online store. They could not confirm when the store would get online, but they assured me that it would be "in a few weeks".
With EWIM, Lara has caught lightning in a bottle, surprising most everybody, probably nobody more so than Lara herself. Ironically she was looking for that from TLFM, and even redid the album to find it, and yet here it is from a totally unexpected direction. Although there’s never any really good explanation for things like this, it can be traced to several different sources.
(1) Pascal Negre told Lara in effect to stop hiding her voice from her critics, leading to the second version of TLFM in which Lara got used to the idea of having her voice out front once again. And with only a piano for accompaniment, as on EWIM, there’s even less place to hide. (2) Lara has never been as reticent to sing strongly on the English albums as on the French ones. In addition to the vocal gymnastics of the first English album, she certainly ‘shattered the rafters’ with some of her songs on ‘A Wonderful Life’, even though this occurred at about the same time as she was toning down the volume for ‘En Toute Intimite’. Perhaps she felt that the English albums were outside the purview of her French critics, but for whatever reason, EWIM continues this trend. (3) Some of the English language singers she’s emulating themselves sang quite powerfully, giving further justification to this approach. (4) Lara’s long history with Pierre Grimard comes to fruition here. One criticism of TLFM was that the musical arrangements were not sufficiently sophisticated. Again, ironically, here with only the one piano, that claim cannot be made with Pierre as the pianist. (5) Another criticism of TLFM was that the songs were old. Some of the songs on EWIM are if anything even older, yet that doesn’t seem to bother anyone, perhaps because for the French speakers, they are not as familiar and seem newer (English speakers had the same response to TLFM). (6) Finally, Lara had really no pressure, so she could be completely at ease. This after all wasn’t her ‘come-back album’, perhaps not even an official Universal release, so if it wasn’t well-received, nobody would even notice. That freed her to emote when she felt like it. Somebody noted that the cover of the CD perfectly expressed Lara’s attitude – laid back and cavalier.
These aspects and Lara and Pierre’s immense talent have combined to produce an unforgettable disk. Most everybody has enjoyed all the songs, and that’s true for me too – they are simply masterful. As with the review of TLFM, there’s no real point in discussing the quality of the songs themselves, since most of them are classics. Here are just a few impressions that come to mind: - Lara is quite thoughtful in her approach to the lyrics, as if the words really mean a lot to her. And her renditions exemplify her feelings about them, rather than duplicating those of the original singers. For example, Lara really seems to take to heart that the singer has hurt her boyfriend, and lost him, in ‘River’, and that this provides a strong contrast to the Christmas season. Joni Mitchell’s version is more forceful but at the same time seems somewhat more impersonal, as if she’s sort of observing what has happened. Karen Carpenter’s version of ‘Close to You’ doesn’t give one the impression that there’s a real person being discussed, whereas Lara has slowed it down, and sings it as a paean to a lover. - -My favorite song(s)? Hard to choose; I’ve heard many singers do ‘Alfie’ and ‘Bewitched…’, both on recordings and live, and I can’t ever remember hearing them done better. Same with ‘Both Sides Now’. An acquaintance who was unfamiliar with Lara thought ‘Crazy’ was the best song on the album. Unlike some of the other reviews posted, I prefer Lara’s version of “Angel” to Sarah McLaughlin's, primarily because I think Lara’s voice is fuller. “Why” suggests what Lara could do were she to sing longer, more complicated songs. Perhaps my least favorite is “The man with the child in his eyes”. - The songs chosen have a more philosophical bent than those for TLFM. One gets the impression that the TLFM choices were really those songs that historically had a meaning for her, while for EWIM, having interesting and varied compositions was a higher priority. Of course we don’t know that. - Lara does abstain from using her power in places where she might have. For example, her endings of ‘Wings Beneath My Wings’ and ‘Angel’ are less exuberant than her concert versions of them. So while she does sing strongly at points, she is not pushing the octaves throughout – perhaps again related to her thoughtful presentation, or maybe interacting with the audience during live concerts brings out her emotions (or she could still have the critics in mind…). - Unfortunately, the cavalier approach seems to have extended to the CD package itself – little more than the pocket. How much greater expense would it have required to include a sheet indicating which singers this was devoted to? Or maybe it was a question of timing – having missed the Brussels concerts, it was mandatory to have this ready for the Paris opening, and perhaps the minimalist approach was necessary to achieve that. - Lara’s English pronunciation is flawless throughout, something that hasn’t been the case for even her own English songs recently. [Though as jjrparis notes, it does alternate between British and American pronunciations.] Also she makes a great effort to emphasize her words, which have never been so clear. Perhaps she had an English language coach, or at least someone to review what she was doing.
I’ve only seen one ‘official’ review of this album by a French critics, and it offered a brief comment that is consistent with what many fans have said: its simplicity shows off what Lara does best, her incredible voice. The fans are unanimous in calling this one of her best albums. I agree – but I personally feel its quality is on a par with TLFM, which I also thought was exceptional. Listening to them both back to back, I could not say that her singing was better on one than the other, and I enjoyed their contrasts. For those who feel that TLFM had too much pop instrumentation, and EWIM too little, I guess Lara can’t win! To me, they make a good pair to give to people who are unfamiliar with Lara’s work. Now, let’s hope for an Italian version to make up the triad…(and then maybe Spanish???).
Post by acespedesf on Oct 14, 2009 15:26:54 GMT -5
I agree with you David, its a beautiful piano voice cd. She seems to have a mix of American and British accents...kind of interesting actually. I have been thinking that she is trying really hard on not sounding like an American and uses the British accent in certain words...........either way, her pronunciation is a lot better and that is great!
I like that...a spanish version! we did a few songs in spanish at the Moscow concerts, and it was amazing!!! but.....that's not going to happend.
"Music is the universal language of mankind.” - Henry Wadsworth
I have listened to EWIM about 6 or 7 times now. Of all of Lara's Cd's it has taken me the longest to appreciate fully.
At first I listened to it as an entire album. Lara's past few albums seemed to have a cohesiveness to them. Rather than an outstanding song, I was attracted to the whole package. For me, that is not the case with EWIM. As an album I found all the songs chosen to be very much the same. Same tempo, same style, just the piano and a bit boring at first. As I started to listen to the songs on an individual basis, I soon found Lara's true artistry.
As David mentioned:
"Lara is quite thoughtful in her approach to the lyrics, as if the words really mean a lot to her. And her renditions exemplify her feelings about them, rather than duplicating those of the original singers."
I totally agree. Lara takes these songs/lyrics and makes them about her. As I listened I could almost picture certain circumstances, from Lara's life, that she was singing about. To me she sang most songs as if she was talking to someone very important in her life, "Wind Beneath My Wings", "River" & "Both Sides Now".
By listening to the songs separately, I started to appreciate the voice and the piano - one on one. Lara has immense talent and it shows even more without the interference of other instruments. Because of the emotions and passion Lara puts into most of these songs, I grew up with, they have become more personal to me too.
David in your explanations for:
"Ironically she was looking for that from TLFM, and even redid the album to find it, and yet here it is from a totally unexpected direction."
I would like to add another thought. TLFM was always meant to be commercial. I don't believe EWIM was. I think Lara wanted it to be what she wanted, kind of like "En Toute Intimite". At the time "ETI" was a big risk that paid off. It just goes to show the extent of Lara's talent. Personally I don't think EWIM would be a big commercial success, artistically and critically definitely, but not commercially.
The outstanding songs for me are "River", "Why" and "Both Sides Now".
Lara does great with "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "Angel".
"The Man With The Child In His Eyes" is growing on me the more I listen to it.
I was a little disappointed in "Do You Know Where You're Going To". It's very good but after hearing her sing it during her concerts I was expecting to be blown away with the studio version.