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TEXAFRANCE - ENCORE!
Austin Chronicle -
by Margaret Moser
February 21, 2003
Christine Albert / Texafrance-Encore!
"When South by Southwest was held at the Hyatt,
Christine Albert once landed a showcase in the hotel's atrium bar, an
acoustically wretched space cavernously rising 17 floors to the top of
the building. Yet hearing Albert singing "La Vie en Rose" from
the 15th floor was as memorable as any conference moment this writer
recalls. Her voice floated, the song's lyrical beauty free and dancing
in the ether. The Edith Piaf tune was from Albert's 1992 TexaFrance
album, a project loved enough that she's returned for an encore,
Texafrance-Encore! reprises Albert's affection for her
French-Swiss roots, this time with partner Chris Gage producing and
playing with an eclectic collection of musicians so well suited they
should play together all the time. A dozen tracks continue the TF
legacy, Encore being an organically pleasing mix of cabaret-style tunes
from the traditional ("Plaisir D'amour," "J'attendrai")
to contemporary (Rickie Lee Jones' funky "Jolie Jolie," Daniel
Lanois' "Under a Stormy Sky"). Albert's at her best with
popular tunes like the familiar "Sous le Ciel de Paris/Under Paris
Skies," as her pretty voice lilts between French and English. Her
Piaf tributes are the most heartfelt: "La Vieux Piano," "C'est
Peut-Etre Ca," and the saucy "La Foule," a duet with
Albert and Gage doing what they do second best.
It's no coincidence this
album came out around Valentine's Day, because its beauty is not just in
the music, but in its sheer romantic atmosphere, the kind you need no
partner to enjoy."