Ladies and gentlemen, The Wonderful World of Carminelitta is back (again)! I know, I know… I guess there’s no denying the obvious: life has been hectic and my mind elsewhere in the past months, and despite a vague desire to update the blog more regularly and start sharing some music with you again, I was simply not in a space where I felt motivated and inspired enough to do it. After a few attempts which proved to be short-lived, I’m giving it a new try. Many posts are waiting in line, but for tonight, I thought some smooth French soul would be appropriate.
I told you about Aldrick on two occasions, first for his collaboration with French spoken word artist JLS on the album DES MOTS [dé]NOTENT, and second with his acapella EP Dans Ma Chambre. As I already explained then, Aldrick is part of the numerous artists I discovered on MySpace in what seems to be another digital lifetime and I’ve always appreciated his voice, his style and sense of humour. After giving us those very appetising teasers, the French singer finally delivered a long-awaited debut album back in May. While I tend to listen mainly to American artists, as well as a few from the UK, I have to admit I have overlooked artists from my own country for the most part of the last years. When I discover albums like Histoire de…, I am reminded of how much talent France has nurtured and I am therefore tempted to go back to listening to more “homegrown” music. Aldrick is clearly among my favourites and the album is yet another confirmation of his skills.
An eclectic collection of songs that range from dancefloor-friendly, feel-good music (Bouge) to stripped down vocal prowesses (Tous les garçons et les filles) or straight emotional soul (Come back, Je t’aime) and sensual invitations (Bodytalk), among others, Histoire de… constitutes a very comprehensive introduction to Aldrick’s universe. As the cover artwork illustrates, the singer offers us different sides of his personality and moods, appealing to different people or matching various moments in the day or life. As a whole, the album is extremely satisfying and calls for repeated listens, both for the incredible smoothness of Aldrick’s voice and the well-written, heartfelt lyrics. Listening to it now, I am drawn mostly to the most intimate songs, especially the aforementioned Come back and Je t’aime, as well as Rester gravé, but I know that at other times I can be attracted to the blunt but borderline funny Franchement tu m’énerves, which was one of the first songs I ever heard from him, or even the beautiful ode to his mother that is Y en a qu’une.
As usual when talking about French artists to an audience that is mostly from the States, I will have to say that while understanding the words is quite important, you can still appreciate the beautiful music and atmosphere created by the various songs. Highly influenced by soul, Histoire de… is also sprinkled with different other elements, making it a musical melting-pot and testimony to Aldrick’s own complexity and varied inspirations.
All that is left to say now is, do yourself a favour and treat your ears to some high quality French soul. You won’t be disappointed.
You can grab Histoire de… on (among others). Once you placed your order, enjoy the official video for the first single, Franchement tu m’énerves. The visuals really respect the lyrics and spirit of the song, which should make it easy for you to understand what’s going on. Enjoy and spread the word!