Clara Luciani - Sainte-Victoire
Oh when the saints go to victory
The cousinhood with Robi, whose comeback is still awaited, seems obvious – with good bass lines, in particular. By the way, "On ne Meurt pas/plus d'Amour". Just goes to show!
As often, the best tracks are rather ahead (with the hit "La Grenade"). The tracks on the tail of the peloton are more dispensable. If you take the tracks in order, you may notice like I did that, after a good start, you have a kind of standstill with "Les Fleurs". I could have put this song in the "I zap" section, just like "La Dernière Fois" or "Dors". That’s a lot. Fortunately, the other pieces save the day, or even more.
The voice is beautiful and deep, reminding of Anggun especially in the groovy moments, or Maurane especially in the slower moments.
Otherwise, she is a fan of Françoise Hardy, you can see it, even in the sleeve (rather gross by the way). As a coincidence, Sainte-Victoire was released on the same day as Personne d'Autre, the former yé-yé idol’s 28th album.
With their perfectly calibrated sound, the punchy and firmly pop tracks are obviously the most convincing of the album, but you’ll notice a few attempts of starkness too, sometimes touching (disoriented "Drôle d'Époque" or clumsy "Monstre d'Amour").
Paradoxically, the verses are often better than the choruses ("Comme Toi").
The lyrics are feminist and combative ("La Grenade", "On ne Meurt pas...", "Sainte-Victoire").
If Clara wrote the songs, Sage (ex Revolver) is omnipresent by her side: instruments (guitar, bass, keyboards), arrangements, production, co-composition. With a few exceptions.
"La Baie" is a cover of Metronomy, in a hot and deliberately unfaithful translation.
"Dors" is a cover of Corynne Charby no? No it isn’t, but it looks like. The brown-eyed tall lady even manages to sing it almost badly, whereas she sings so well all the other tracks!
I ignore whether Robi will do better, when she comes back, but meanwhile I’d bet a little coin on Clara.
It’s as short as it can be since no track reaches 4 minutes.
If you take a track like "Drôle d'Époque", you even remark that the whole song (lyrics and melody) is played in less than 2 minutes; the rest only repeats (apart from a few hmm hmm hmm) without bringing anything. Pity.
But the repetition can also serve the purpose sometimes. "Eddy" for example.
"Sainte-Victoire" is the shortest one, but it isn’t really a song.
Addendum (June 2019): Short after this review was published, the album was reissued (with a yellow sleeve) enhanced by 4 new tracks, including the sublime "Mon Ombre" and an anecdotal duo with Philippe Katerine ("Qu'est-ce que T'es Beau"), only interesting for the role reversal compared to the original duo formed by Marc Lavoine and Catherine Ringer.
On ne Meurt pas d'Amour
“J'ai peur de m'être bousillée à trop donner, à mal aimer” ("On ne Meurt pas d'Amour")