Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Kendji Girac – Elle m’a Aimé

We have some big acts today, possibly even bigger than a winner of The Voice in France…


Anthony Easton: His voice is rich, and the flamenco guitar is well played, and the emotional regulation is kept in check, and so for a franchise hit, it does its job admirably. 

Madeleine Lee: The hissing synth cymbals could be deployed with more discretion, and the album version seems to do away with them entirely. But over them is a melody so simple it can’t be ruined, as reminiscent of R&B noir, chanson, and diva showcase ballads as it is of rumba flamenca and club pop. I like this video of Girac playing the song backstage with members of Chico & the Gypsies, where he forgets the words as if it’s not his song but an old standard, one of those songs where everyone wants to sing the chorus.

W.B. Swygart: In an era whose music videos have not been underserved with smug prannocks, somehow Kendji has rocketed to the front of the pack in the space of (as far as I can tell) just three singles. This isn’t quite at the heights of “Andalouse,” in which he attempts to reclaim Rick Astley’s dance moves for people who are rilly rilly good looking, but it does feature at least one Arsenal-midfielder-finger-wag (aimed at a bloke eyeing up his girl) and a scene in which he talks to said girl on the phone while standing right behind her that must surely be our image, no? Oh, and the song — simultaneously ten times more hysterical and less skeevy than Enrique Iglesias, Kendji deploys flamenco, trilling and a quite perfect use of “chagrin” to yell the tale of how this one time he was just a dreadful boyfriend to this girl “who wanted nothing more than love; I held her heart between my hands.” You could easily imagine it on Jane the Virgin. I sort of love it.

Jonathan Bogart: It strikes me as at least somewhat unusual that a TV-competition-winning pop star is in 2015 making his bones with the kind of music that’s generally relegated to tasteful “heritage” acts in the various European markets. Of course, flamenco isn’t France’s heritage (I wonder if Roma-derived music from closer to home would be as enthusiastically embraced), and Girac’s singing is pure internationalist schmaltz, more a Cowellized Céline Dion than Camarón de la Isla.

Patrick St. Michel: With all the over-singing going on, you’d think this guy hadn’t won The Voice yet.

Brad Shoup: He’s firmly in control, sure, but it sounds like just the one horse. Compare the guitar to the pneumatic fanning of “Bailando” — the vocal work’s done by several men, sure, but it’s not parceled out in an intuitive way. Girac’s shouldering the entire burden of a breakup text, and he gets performative, actorly, just like you’d fear. 

Maxwell Cavaseno: Good for you breh.

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.