ILLUSIONS is one of Ute Lemper's purest artistic statements. Like the similar UTE LEMPER SINGS KURT WEILL, this album is a tribute, this time to two of her clearest influences, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf. Though Lemper doesn't actually sound much like either singer (her voice is far more robust than Piaf's, and more expressive than Dietrich's), she finds the emotion at the heart of "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," and similarly has Dietrich's cool delivery down, giving a different twist to songs like "Jonny, Wenn Du Gerburtstag Hast."
The arrangements, for orchestra and small combo, are excellent, and Lemper is in typically superb voice throughout. Fans of the singer's Broadway work or her pop album PUNISHING KISS will find this an intriguing celebration of her musical roots.