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Divinidylle
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2007
Vanessa Paradis' first album in seven years is a mini-revelation of sorts. For starters, its unlike anything she has ever recorded - compare this to her debut album from 1987 or her "Bliss" album from 2000, and its evident she has worked on her voice, her diction, and her vocal delivery. She has always been my favorite French singer and I've probably collected everything she has ever recorded in her 20 year career, but I have to say that this is by far her most consistent work. Its not as instantly bewitching or memorable as her 1990 album (which still remains my No. 1 Paradis record), but is definitely the best put-together, the best produced, and her best vocal performance to date. The reason why I'm giving it four stars instead of five however, is because its way too short. Seriously. Even before you can settle into the album and enjoy it, its over.

Ironically, the title track "Divine Idylle" is sonically the weakest. It has no memorable chorus other than hand-claps, and isn't very well executed in general. I don't know what they were going for here - at best it sounds like an average musical idea that they stretched out for three minutes. I saw Vanessa performing this recently on a French TV Show - an acoustic segment with Mathieu Chedid, and it was evident that even she was lost on how to perform this live. The entire episode was quite weak - I think this song is the poorest one on the album, and though it does bring back some 1960s summery brightness, its not a full cohesive song by any means.

Thankfully, things only get better from there on. From Track 2 onward, this album keeps hitting you with one quality track after the other, even a few ballads that in the hands of any other songstress would just sound overwrought. My personal favorite "Chet Baker" has Vanessa attempting the lower register of her voice with spectacular results. She should sing in this range more often. A duet with M, "Les Piles" follows next, and is light banter between the performing duo - a fun song. The most beautiful song follows next - in fact, it's the "Pourtant" of the album, and is called "Des Que J'te Vois" - the track opens with a lovely melody that is immediately offset by Vanessa's dark, brooding vocals in a flip-flop tune that is instantly singalong. If there is any track on this album worth releasing as a single, this is it. Its by far Vanessa's sexiest track on record - listen and find out!

Amongst the other songs, I have to say that "L'Incendie" with its light, frothy chorus is definitely a standout. The arrangements on "La Bataille" are wonderful (it starts off as a ballad before plunging headlong into electric guitar territory). Vanessa is also making a habit of getting her children to appear with her on her albums. On "Bliss", her daughter Lily Rose Depp was given a few lines, and here it's the turn of young Jack Depp to star on the opening seconds of "Jackadi", the album closer. It's a wonderful ballad, and echoes the peaceful, serene sentiment of the entire album.

Heres the thing - you may or may not know Vanessa, or you may or may not know about French music in general. Either way, I would recommend this CD. It was released in the first week of September 2007 in France and immediately hit No. 1 - since Paradis albums are so few and far between, the French public are highly obsessive about her and usually guarantee her a chart success (its currently outselling Manu Chao's chart topper two to one in France). Gotta hand it to the French - they know good music when they hear it. If not for them, artists such as Susheela Raman would still be obscure within their native lands.

So, for lovers of French music, where does this album stand? By all means, its better than 2000's "Bliss", even though that album did contain "Pourtant" (which I consider Vanessa's finest song to date). I don't think its going to be a classic like her 1990 Serge Gainsbourg-produced album, but its definitely miles ahead of both her 1987 debut "M&J", as well as her 1992 Lenny Kravitz-produced self-titled album. Currently, "Divinidylle" sits at No. 2 on my list of favorite Paradis albums, right behind "Variations Sur Le meme T'aime" (mighty hard to beat that one!).

This album deserves all the chart success its getting. For years, Vanessa was regarded as just another pretty face who sang like Minnie Mouse, but the effort she has made to overcome her own limitations is fascinating. This is vastly better than even Zazie's "Totem" CD which has recently been called the best French CD release by a female singer in the 2000s. I think Paradis will triumph both in the record books and in critics' reviews, because `Divinidylle' is one of those rare animals - it has enough tune and melody to do well on the charts, and is esoteric and artistic enough for even the most snotty of French critics to find adorable.

This is an album for a fine, classy evening at home by yourself. Whip out the best china, fix yourself some coq au vin, pour yourself some Bordeaux, and settle into a sofa while it rains outside. After listening to this CD about ten times in the last week, I can honestly say it gets better with time.

Never boring, constantly creative and inventive, musically groundbreaking, and sublimely inspirational, Vanessa Paradis' "Divinidylle" is an album that any Francophile and lover of good world music should have in their collection. While you're at it, do yourself a favor and get her entire back catalog, in particular her 1990 CD - it's a treat in every sense of the word!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2008
This is an exquisite pop album that oozes nouvelle vague.
Vanessa Paradis is to all intents and purposes the latter-day heiress to the French yé-yé girl tradition of Sixties sirens such as Françoise Hardy and Sylvie Vartan.
Some 19 years after she charmed the pants off the nation with "Joe Le Taxi", aged 14, Vanessa returns to music with a classy and thoughtful collection of French guitar pop.
On her fifth album after a seven year break, she sounds like she's having a ball.
Closer in spirit to her 1992 Lenny Kravitz produced album, "Divinidylle", which topped the French pop album chart last month while creating few ripples elsewhere, is another collaboration this time with fellow French guitar star Matthieu Chedid who also seems obsessed with the past.
The end result is quality songwriting with elements of vintage psychedelia, '70s folk and even cod-reggae seeping through the overall classic pop sheen, not least the sophisticated arrangements with which producer Mathieu Chedid surrounds her sultry low-register vocals on tracks like "Chet Baker" (strings, castanets, subtle slide guitar), "Les Revenants" (languid bass, organ, ondes Martenot and musical saw) and "Irresistiblement" (not the Vartan classic), into whose shuffling groove banjo and jug are seamlessly incorporated.
With the exception of the purposefully sweet title track Vanessa's voice has also matured.
Gone, for the most part, is that squeaky girl next door and replaced with the huskier, world weary voice of genuine passion heard on "Chet Baker".
The bouncy and instantly likeable "Dès Que J'te Vois" is the second track, that marries both of these extreme vocal styles whereas Vanessa loses herself in the music and sounds close to breaking point on the stark and ghostly ballad "Junior Suite".
The songs have been picked to match Paradis's growing maturity.
Worth mentioning the rhyming of "à tout a l'heure" with "à toute allure" in "Chet Baker" - while her solo composition "Jackadi" pays tribute to her partner Johnny Depp, who also created the sleeve illustration in the style of Gustav Klimt.
Unlike so many contemporary pop albums "Divinidylle" is gloriously short at just over 30 minutes long, but it's all about quality here and not quantity.
Album's highlights : "Chet Baker", "Jackadi", "Les Revenants'" and "Dès Que J'te Vois".

M & J
Vanessa Paradis
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2008
Vanessa Paradis' first album in seven years is a mini-revelation of sorts. For starters, its unlike anything she has ever recorded - compare this to her debut album from 1987 or her "Bliss" album from 2000, and its evident she has worked on her voice, her diction, and her vocal delivery. She has always been my favorite French singer and I've probably collected everything she has ever recorded in her 20 year career, but I have to say that this is by far her most consistent work. Its not as instantly bewitching or memorable as her 1990 album (which still remains my No. 1 Paradis record), but is definitely the best put-together, the best produced, and her best vocal performance to date. The reason why I'm giving it four stars instead of five however, is because its way too short. Seriously. Even before you can settle into the album and enjoy it, its over.

Ironically, the title track "Divine Idylle" is sonically the weakest. It has no memorable chorus other than hand-claps, and isn't very well executed in general. I don't know what they were going for here - at best it sounds like an average musical idea that they stretched out for three minutes. I saw Vanessa performing this recently on a French TV Show - an acoustic segment with Mathieu Chedid, and it was evident that even she was lost on how to perform this live. The entire episode was quite weak - I think this song is the poorest one on the album, and though it does bring back some 1960s summery brightness, its not a full cohesive song by any means.

Thankfully, things only get better from there on. From Track 2 onward, this album keeps hitting you with one quality track after the other, even a few ballads that in the hands of any other songstress would just sound overwrought. My personal favorite "Chet Baker" has Vanessa attempting the lower register of her voice with spectacular results. She should sing in this range more often. A duet with M, "Les Piles" follows next, and is light banter between the performing duo - a fun song. The most beautiful song follows next - in fact, it's the "Pourtant" of the album, and is called "Des Que J'te Vois" - the track opens with a lovely melody that is immediately offset by Vanessa's dark, brooding vocals in a flip-flop tune that is instantly singalong. If there is any track on this album worth releasing as a single, this is it. Its by far Vanessa's sexiest track on record - listen and find out!

Amongst the other songs, I have to say that "L'Incendie" with its light, frothy chorus is definitely a standout. The arrangements on "La Bataille" are wonderful (it starts off as a ballad before plunging headlong into electric guitar territory). Vanessa is also making a habit of getting her children to appear with her on her albums. On "Bliss", her daughter Lily Rose Depp was given a few lines, and here it's the turn of young Jack Depp to star on the opening seconds of "Jackadi", the album closer. It's a wonderful ballad, and echoes the peaceful, serene sentiment of the entire album.

Heres the thing - you may or may not know Vanessa, or you may or may not know about French music in general. Either way, I would recommend this CD. It was released in the first week of September 2007 in France and immediately hit No. 1 - since Paradis albums are so few and far between, the French public are highly obsessive about her and usually guarantee her a chart success (its currently outselling Manu Chao's chart topper two to one in France). Gotta hand it to the French - they know good music when they hear it. If not for them, artists such as Susheela Raman would still be obscure within their native lands.

So, for lovers of French music, where does this album stand? By all means, its better than 2000's "Bliss", even though that album did contain "Pourtant" (which I consider Vanessa's finest song to date). I don't think its going to be a classic like her 1990 Serge Gainsbourg-produced album, but its definitely miles ahead of both her 1987 debut "M&J", as well as her 1992 Lenny Kravitz-produced self-titled album. Currently, "Divinidylle" sits at No. 2 on my list of favorite Paradis albums, right behind "Variations Sur Le meme T'aime" (mighty hard to beat that one!).

This album deserves all the chart success its getting. For years, Vanessa was regarded as just another pretty face who sang like Minnie Mouse, but the effort she has made to overcome her own limitations is fascinating. This is vastly better than even Zazie's "Totem" CD which has recently been called the best French CD release by a female singer in the 2000s. I think Paradis will triumph both in the record books and in critics' reviews, because `Divinidylle' is one of those rare animals - it has enough tune and melody to do well on the charts, and is esoteric and artistic enough for even the most snotty of French critics to find adorable.

This is an album for a fine, classy evening at home by yourself. Whip out the best china, fix yourself some coq au vin, pour yourself some Bordeaux, and settle into a sofa while it rains outside. After listening to this CD about ten times in the last week, I can honestly say it gets better with time.

Never boring, constantly creative and inventive, musically groundbreaking, and sublimely inspirational, Vanessa Paradis' "Divinidylle" is an album that any Francophile and lover of good world music should have in their collection. While you're at it, do yourself a favor and get her entire back catalog, in particular her 1990 CD - it's a treat in every sense of the word!

Note: France has released a Christmas Edition of this CD, with the bonus tracks "Emmenez Moi", "I Wouldn't Dare", and "Abdracadabra". This version is available only from French vendors - try Amazon France.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2008
Her best work, in my opinion. I have been listening to it over and over and have not tired of it. I dont' speak French fluently but have always enjoyed the music. I did, however, find lyrics in English to a few of the songs. L'Incendie is hauntingly beautiful. I can never get it out of my head. It's probably my favorite on the disk. Chet Baker is a close 2nd.

I highly recommend this album. It's nice to put on a cd and enjoy each & every song; there's no urge to skip a single tune by. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm a big fan of Gustav Klimt art so I have to admit that the cover art pretty much sold me. Apart from that, the music is exquisite Vanessa Paradis but the reason I bought the album was for the song Emmenez Moi which I discovered is only available through the website which you can only access through the CD. Fair enough I suppose, but I wished the 3 bonus tracks on the website was on the CD, they were very good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2007
I'd been waiting for about a year for Vanessa Paradis to complete this new album, and it was definitely worth the wait. I've enjoyed her music for some time now, and I'm very happy to add this cd to my collection. The album is completely in french, but you don't have to understand the words to love the music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2008
This latest release from Vanessa is fabulous and very enjoyable. I like the variety and the artistry of her work. I'll have to learn French now!
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on September 15, 2008
Vanessa's new cd is truly amazing! I've been a fan of Vanessa's for many years and I must say that after 'Variations sur le Meme T'Aime' this is her best outing to date. All the songs are truly unique and fit her voice perfectly. It's very enjoyable to listen to even if you are not fluent in French. I highly recommend this cd to everyone. It's great music well worth the money. You will not be disappointed.
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on September 9, 2008
This is a great cd. "Jackadi" is a surprise hit. Her voice and melodies are as beautiful as she is. I know very little French and her cd's are very enjoyable. Worth the purchase.
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on September 2, 2013
I choose this rating because "Incendie" happens to be one of my favorite French songs, and I sing this song very often.
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