Michel Louvain

Je N'ai Pas Changé

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Nine years after his last studio album, 2002's holiday-themed Chante Noel, Quebec crooner Michel Louvain returns with Je N'ai Pas Change, a collection of Latin-tinged reworkings of some of his favorite French-language standards. Like producer Nicole Martin's recent comeback, Cocktail de Douceur, the concept was inspired by Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook series, and although there's nothing as recognizable as those big-band classics from the Rat Pack era, there are still several tracks that will be familiar, even to those not exactly acquainted with the history of Francophone pop, whether it's the French translation of "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps," ("Qui Sait, Qui Sait, Qui Sait?"), a samba reworking of "Deux Petits Chaussons de Satin Blanc" from Charlie Chaplin's 1932 film Limelight, or two of Julio Iglesias' most successful forays into Gallic pop (the title track and "Ou Est Passee Ma Boheme"). Elsewhere, the74-year-old shows he still has one eye on the dancefloor as he embraces the tango on the 1930 film Un De La Canebiere number, "Plus Beau Tango Du Monde," turns Tino Rossi's accordion-led chanson "Donnez-Moi des Roses" into a summery slice of Bacharach-esque lounge pop, and revisits three of his own biggest hits ("Certain Sourire," "Buenas Noches Mi Amor," and "La Dame en Bleu") on a medley which incorporates bossa nova, salsa, and the cha-cha-cha. While there's nothing particularly groundbreaking here, Je N'ai Pas Change is still a pleasant and charming listen which proves that 50 years into his career, Louvain still has the power to surprise.

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