Keren Ann

La Disparition & La Biographie de Luka

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Around the time of the European release of Keren Ann's third album Not Going Anywhere, EMI released her first two albums, La Biographie de Luka Philipsen and La Disparition, as a single-disc collection. Both albums treat Keren Ann's elegantly whispery voice like a jewel, placing it in subtly lovely settings that mix folk, electronic, Latin and French pop influences. La Biographie de Luka Philipsen features the most emphasis on electronics, particularly on the trip-hoppy "Dans Ma Ville," "Sur Le Fil" and "Aeroplane"; these songs, along with the lush production on "Dimanche en Hiver," are still appealing but sound a little dated and overdone compared to the sparer direction Keren Ann followed on La Disparition and Not Going Anywhere, a direction that was signaled by the more restrained arrangements on Biographie's "On Est Loin" and "Peut-Etre." Keren Ann's duet with collaborator Benjamin Biolay, "Decrocher les Etoiles," updates the tradition of Serge Gainsbourg's duets with chanteuses like Jane Birkin and Françoise Hardy, while "Jardin d'Hiver" has an appealing bossa nova feel. La Disparition delves deeper into the folky, organic side of Keren Ann's music, particularly on the title track, "L'Illusioniste" and "La Corde et Les Chaussons," but "Ailleurs" and "Mes Pas Dans la Neige" have rhythms and arrangements that flirt with jazz. "Surannee"'s delicate, harp-tinged reverie and "Le Sable Mouvant"'s darkly sparkling fairy tale melody show that on La Disparition, Keren Ann became a more diverse, and even more distinctive talent. La Disparition & La Biographie de Luka Philipsen is a convenient way for anyone enchanted by Not Going Anywhere to pick up the rest of Keren Ann's charming music.

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