Speaking in tongues with Belinda Carlisle
Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle has a new CD out, but the tunes on the disc are going to surprise her long-time fans: "Voila" has 11 tunes, all sung entirely in French.
The album pays tribute to French pop music of the '40s, '50s and '60s. Carlisle assembled a dream team for the project, including producer John Reynolds (U2, Sinead O'Connor, Indigo Girls) and Brian Eno on keyboards.
Carlisle hasn't released a new studio album in 10 years -- since 1996's "A Woman and a Man," a hit in the U.K. but not equally appreciated in the United States. It's been nearly 20 years since her hit singles "Heaven is a Place on Earth" and "I Get Weak."
"After I moved to France, I became familiar with the classic French chansons and a lot of French pop music," Carlisle said in announcing her CD. "I came to love this music and wanted to record some of them with a playful, contemporary feel."
I'm no expert on French music, but I enjoyed "Voila." The instrumentation and arrangements are soothing and beautiful. Carlisle tackles the lyrics with energy and passion. Go-Go's fans likely won't recognize her voice, which sounds fuller and deeper on many tunes, particularly the trance-like "Avec Le Temps." Other standout numbers include "Ma Jeunesse Font Le Camp" and "La Vie En Rose."
"Voila" is set for release in February 2007. A limited pressing will contain a bonus disc that has four songs remixed in English.