Christophe Maé

Comme à la Maison

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In the wake of his blockbuster album Mon Paradis, which was among the best-selling French albums of 2007, folk-pop singer/songwriter Christophe Maé released the live CD/DVD package Comme à la Maison. The live concert featured on Comme à la Maison was recorded on June 18-19, 2008, on a beach in the south of Corse, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea, and includes Maé and his band accompanied at times by a gospel-style choir, accordionist Régis Gizavo, and singer William Baldé of "Rayon de Soleil" fame. The 14-song performance compiled on Comme à la Maison is comprised primarily of material from Mon Paradis; indeed, ten of the 14 songs come from that album, including the hit singles "On S'Attache," "Parce Qu'on Sait Jamais," and "Belle Demoiselle." Not until the eighth song on Comme à la Maison does Maé turn toward non-Mon Paradis material, performing the three-song cycle "Mon P'tit Gars," "Moi J'ai Pas le Sou" (a duet with William Baldé), and "Sa Danse Donne" (an old song from his more or less impossible to find debut album of the same name). Then before closing the performance with the Mon Paradis highlights "Parce Qu'on Sait Jamais" and "C'est Ma Terre," Maé and his choir perform "Tribute to Bob Marley," essentially a three-minute medley of the refrains from "No Woman, No Cry," "Redemption Song," and "Could You Be Loved" -- that is, nothing special. While it's disappointing that Comme à la Maison doesn't include more surprises than it does, whether in the form of new material or cover songs, the live performance is still impressive and casts the songs of Mon Paradis in a new light, one that highlights Maé's African influence in particular (the finale of "C'est Ma Terre" especially). Still, anyone looking for more than an "unplugged" version of Mon Paradis might be disappointed. In addition to the 14-song live performance, the DVD half of Comme à la Maison includes a making-of segment, plus the promotional videos for "On S'Attache," "Parce Qu'on Sait Jamais," "Ça Fait Mal," "Belle Demoiselle," and "C'est Ma Terre." The deluxe collector's edition of Comme à la Maison adds even more bonus material, including a seven-song "Live à Paris Bercy" performance. Those looking for simply music should opt for the cheaper CD-only version, which spreads the 14-song beach concert across two discs.

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