Le Fil

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Having created quite an impact in her native France, the Nouvelle Vague singer uses a concept on her second solo outing -- Le Fil, or the thread, a drone that runs throughout the disc (and, just to emphasize, runs for about 30 minutes at the end if you don't turn the CD off). She won a couple of French awards with this disc, and it's easy to see why. It's quite adventurous, a journey for voice that moves outside the box. And yet, not as far as many people think. All too often the melodic underpinnings of her songs are quite predictable, and within a standard frame. When she does move outside that (as on the recurring "Janine" pieces or "Senza"), there's a real sense of daring, rather than playing, about this disc. Camille has been compared to Björk, but that's not right; she doesn't inhabit the same childlike alternative universe. Relatively speaking, Camille has her feet planted firmly on the ground. And, if you look at the two of them together, the French singer's sense of wonder seems a product of calculation rather than natural naïveté. That's not to say this is a bad, or even mediocre, album. It's not. It's good, at times even better than that. But at this stage she's definitely not the finished product, by any means. Where she goes next will perhaps say a lot more about her music that this record does.

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