Record Review: Michel Berger -'Pour me Comprendre' [wea 5051011539923]
On a recent visit to Languedoc, I noticed that a French TV magazine was giving away this CD from 2002 with that week's issue. Needless to say, although the name meant nothing to me, I was unable to resist buying.
Now, my French is very basic and although I was able to decipher rough meanings for most of the 18 titles - the actual gist of the songs were pretty much incomprehensible to me. Therefore I was in my element - I was able to listen from a purely musical angle disregarding lyrical content beyond the mood set by intonation and simply taking the voice as just one of the instruments in the arrangement.
Michel's voice is in fact very musical. Although he does not have a particularly large vocal range Michel is light in touch, melodic and quite pure in style. In many way he is what I consider to be a typical French chanson singer. The backings featuring Michel on piano, accompanied by bass, synth, guitar, sax etc are gently thoughtful and far from overdone. The arrangements vary quite widely from straight dramatic ballads,through anthemic stadium pop, to very groovy modern jazz numbers, although I think it would be true to assert that they manage to maintain a French ambience throughout.
In fact, I'd say this is a most enjoyable CD and I'd not hesitate to recommend it to even the most cynical of singer-songwriterphobes among whom I count myself. In fact, I go as far as to say I'd be very interested to hear Michel's latest album and that I'd be very disappointed if it wasn't just as good as this one, if not better.
Let's hope the idea of giving away slightly ageing CDs with TV magazines catches on universally!