Keren Ann

La Biographie de Luka Philipsen

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Like Coralie Clément, Keren Ann may not have the widest range, but she makes the most of it. Her vocals are light, delicate, and pretty, as if she has found a way to combine talking, whispering, and singing into one fluid approach (and as if she has listened to a few Astrud Gilberto albums in her time). La Biographie de Luka Philipsen was the French singer/songwriter's debut and many of the songs were co-written with longtime associate Benjamin Biolay (Clément's older brother). Biolay also produced, played several instruments (guitar, trumpet, and trombone), and provided the orchestral arrangements. The pleasing results are somewhat like a modern-day Serge Gainsbourg-Françoise Hardy collaboration. They even duet on one song, "Decrocher les Etoiles." Consequently, Biolay has often been compared to Gainsbourg, and Keren Ann has often been compared to Hardy, but Keren Ann -- like Biolay -- is a multi-instrumentalist, as well, and plays guitar and clarinet on the album. In addition, she has written songs for other artists, most notably Henri Salvador. The Brazilian-sounding "Jardin d'Hiver," which appears on La Biographie (and was co-written by Biolay), first showed up on Salvador's Chambre Avec Vue. It became a big hit for the 83-year-old French jazz musician and would garner awards (like the prestigious Victoires de la Musique) and considerable acclaim for Keren Ann and Biolay.

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