Patricia Kaas

Piano Bar

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Patricia Kaas' 2002 release Piano Bar is a lovely, seductive collection of romantic mood music, pulled directly from the chanteuse tradition but sounding utterly contemporary. Some credit must go to producer/arranger Michel Legrand, who keeps the polished surface softly glimmering, yet this is merely a stage for Kaas, whose vocals are never flashy, but always alluring. The album consists primarily of mid-20th century songs from such stalwart European composers as Charles Anzavour and Jacques Brel, who were covered frequently during the '60s by European and American singers alike. As such, Piano Bar can feel a bit like a '60s vocal pop album at times in terms of approach and material, but Legrand's synth-heavy arrangements help bring it into the modern era as much as Kaas' unhurried delivery. The end result is a lovely, winning album, another fine recording by a fine vocalist.

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