INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Classic Pop AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 - by Mark Frith
BELINDA CARLISLE: VOILA
The tragic events of January 17 1994, an earthquake centred around her San Fernando Valley neighbourhood in Los Angeles, changed Belinda Carlisle's life in so many ways. She began to investigate Buddhism, pledged to quit her previous drink and drugs excesses for good and, most notably, moved her young family to France. But this wasn't some Valley Girl whim - Carlisle fell deeply in love with the place and its tradition of songs, and decided that her comeback album (she hadn't released a studio album for a decade when this originally surfaced in 2007) would be all French songs.
Oh yes - the great power pop singer of the '80s really is doing versions of Serge Gainsbourg's Bonnie Et Clyde and Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose here - and with keyboard contributions from Brian Eno. But the biggest surprise of all is her voice; often over-produced and, frankly, a little shrill on her biggest hits in the '80s, here Carlisle sings in a way respectful to the songs while at the same time imbuing them with the drama they require (the exception to this is Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitte Pas, which is just too OTT). More than a curiosity, this is well worth investigating - although, regrettably, this Deluxe edition doesn't stretch past the single disc. Zut alors!