27 tracks including 11 of Piaf's best known songs digitally remastered. Film features Marion Cotillard as Piaf and Gerard Depardieu as Piaf's husband.
As befits the soundtrack of a music biopic, most of the heavy lifting here is done by the movie's subject: iconic French singer Edith Piaf. She was the Gallic Judy Garland, a natural performer who overcame one personal tragedy after another and was never more alive than on stage, forging an uncommon bond with both material and audience. Since actress Marion Cotillard lip-synchs in the film, the first 11 tracks on the CD are by Piaf herself, and give a good overview of her biggest hits (though we get the English version of the title track) and her feverish, ultra-dramatic style. But Piaf wasn't only a tragedienne of song: Her lighter side is represented by "Rien de Rien" and "Mon Manège à Moi," which she infuses with wonderful flair. Tracks 12-20 are made up of Christopher Gunning's richly symphonic original score (check out "La Mort de Leplée"). The last third of the album offers Piaf without Piaf, with contemporary singers Jil Aigrot and Maya Barsoni performing her songs (apparently because the originals' poor sound quality meant they would have stuck out in the movie). Watch out, however, for Mistinguett
's hilarious "Il m'a vu nue," a slice of French music-hall history preserved in amber. --Elisabeth Vincentelli