Geneviéve Letarte

Chansons d'un Jour

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It took Geneviève Letarte ten years to release a follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut CD Vous Seriez un Ange. Also a writer and multimedia conceptual artist, she decided to return to recorded music in 2000, delivering a strong second album entitled Chansons d'un Jour (One Day Songs). This one sounds a lot more acoustic and natural, even though there are electric guitars and keyboards. Vous Seriez un Ange also had drum machines and a very late-'80s synthetic quality to it. Center stage, one finds the same voice, just a little cold and detached enough to give it haunting colors, and poetic lyrics (in French, partly translated in the booklet). The music, co-written and arranged by guitarist Claude Fradette, is simpler than on the previous album; exit the disquieting moods of René Lussier's "Iceberg" or the odd beats of Michel F. Côté. Vous Seriez un Ange, while being poppier than most of Ambiances Magnétiques' productions, retained something of the label's sound. This is not the case on Chansons d'un Jour, although it doesn't translate into a mainstream album, if only for Letarte's very personal singing style and use of foreign and invented languages. A lot of care has been put into textures, dreamy moods, and an almost jazzy touch here and there (thanks mostly to Serge Boisvert's trumpet). Everything is pledged to Letarte's voice. More accessible than 98% of the Ambiances Magnétiques catalog, Chansons d'un Jour offers a beautiful piece of intelligent pop music.

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