Charles Aznavour - Topic

Charles Aznavour - Topic

Toujours Play

Despite stating his intentions to wind down his career over a decade ago, legendary French chanteur Charles Aznavour still remains as busy as he ever was, with this 2011 studio album, Toujours, his seventh since the turn of the century. Following his recent collaborative efforts with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and a whole host of global superstars on 2008's Duos, this collection of 12 self-penned tracks shows that the 87-year-old is still capable of cutting it alone. Indeed, he may be one of the last few surviving exponents of the traditional French chanson, but he can still pack a punch, as evident on the jaunty Gypsy jazz of "J'ai Connu," which addresses the genocides that have occurred during his lifetime, and the Bacharach-esque lounge-pop of "Ce Printemps-Là," a love story set against the backdrop of the May 1968 Paris students' revolution, while the twinkling cocktail bar sounds of "Que J'aime Ça" prove that his powers of seduction haven't diminished with age. Elsewhere, Aznavour continues to pursue the Latin vibes of 2007's Colore Ma Vie with the brass-fused bossa nova of "Viens M'Emporter" and the Spanish guitar-led "Flamenco Flamenca"; the shuffling percussion, twinkling keys, and twanging bluesy riffs help create an infectious slice of old-school honky tonk on "Des Coups de Poing"; while "Elle" is an effective uptempo Gallic jazz reworking of his most famous torch song, featuring the vocals of Parisian singer/songwriter Thomas Dutronc. It's admirable that the latter is the only familiar number here, as while his recent output suggested he was quite content to play out his later years constantly revisiting his back catalog, Toujours shows that one or two potential classics may be left in him yet. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Aznavour 2000 Play

The venerable Charles Aznavour graced his adoring public with a stellar album of material for the new millennium, titled Aznavour 2000. The album tends to sway toward upbeat, jazzy, swingin' numbers, such as the opener, "Le Jazz Est Revenu," "Elle a le Swing au Corps," "La Formule Un," and "Nos Avocats." His voice, always warm and compassionate, is like an old friend, giving this album a feeling of intimacy, although his public spans the globe and numbers in the millions. The shining moments, however, are the ballads, which drip with his eternally stylish and sophisticated melancholy, such as the lovely and heartbreaking "De la Scene a la Seine," a tribute to the late, tragic Italian-Egyptian star Dalida. The downcast "Qu'Avons-Nous Fait de Nos Vingt Ans" echoes of his ancestral Armenia and "Je Danse Avec l'Amour" is a classic-sounding French chanson. "Quand Tu M'Aimes" and the samba-styled "Je Ne Savais Pas" are from his musical Lautrec (based on the life of Tolouse-Lautrec) and offer more variety to this winning and marvelously orchestrated album. A sheer pleasure through and through for fans of the amazing and enduring Charles Aznavour. ~ Jose F. Promis, Rovi
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