Maurice Chevalier wasn't simply a cabaret singer; he was also a first-class entertainer, and someone who took great pride in being a showman. Like Edith Piaf, he was among the most famous French singers of the 20th century, but that's where the similarity ends. In contrast to Piaf's many deeply introspective and emotionally intense performances, Chevalier favored fun, happy entertainment. Spanning 1928-1942, Valentine boasts many of the essential recordings he was famous for. Chevalier's charm and charisma are hard to miss on such exuberant classics as "Paris Sera Toujours Paris," "Fleur De Paris" and "Donnez-moi La Main, Mama'Zelle" (not to mention "La Coupetta" and the title song). While Piaf's singing could bring tears to your eyes, Chevalier knew how to inspire laughter. Even if you don't speak a single word of French, it will be obvious that Valentine is a collection that is defined by good spirits.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson