Brimming with independent spirit and worldly charm, Sabina Sciubba's debut LP Toujours is a wonderful mish-mash of '60s French pop, Latin traditions, and adventurous indie pop. Best known for her work with genre-hopping New York dance-pop group Brazilian Girls, Sabina took the band's 2009 hiatus as an opportunity to work unencumbered on a set of more personal and stripped-down songs that would comprise her first solo effort. Working with longtime Brazilian Girls' producer Frederik Rubens, the album was largely recorded at the singer's home in Paris and exhibits the sort of relaxed, homespun experimentation that comes from working in an uninhibited, creative environment. Born in Rome but raised in Germany, Italy, and France, Sabina has always brought an exotic multi-culturalism to her music and Toujours touches frequently on her own personal journey, recalling her move back to Europe from her adopted home in New York. Songs like "Long Distance Love" drift seamlessly between English and French lyrics as she searches for a place to land, while on the enchantingly lovely "Fields of Snow," she sings of starting a new life in the French countryside. Her warm, rich voice occasionally recalls the heavily accented delivery of '60s pop chanteuse Nico, but with a more fearless pop flair and much greater range. With its sultry backing vocals and jazzy horn stacks, the German-English soul ballad "Sailor's Daughter" perfectly displays both her vocal and songwriting chops on an album that has no shortage of standout cuts. From the brilliantly simple pop anthem "I Won't Let You Break Me" to the effervescent title track, Toujours is an album of true originality, executed with humor, warmth, and spark, and captivating from beginning to end.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger