dimanche 16 janvier 2011

Clara Morgane's sleepless nights on the dancefloor

Released back in December, Nuits Blanches is the second album that has been recorded by Clara Morgane, a famous former pornstar french blond girl. It’s been a couple of weeks that I’ve bought it and have wanted to post a review for it because it’s a must-have CD but I didn’t have the time with Christmas busy week at work then New Year’s Eve and my following holidays. Today's the day !

Clara Morgane started her career in 2001 by acting with current boyfriend, porn star Greg Centauro, in several X-rated movies but the pornstar cliché seems too much for her as, to my knowledge, she has only played with him for the cameras ; it was more of an exhibisionist trip than a real porn job. It is not as if she had been fucked up by many different men in front of the cameras, isn’t it ?
Her goal may have been to use this exposure as a way to reach higher goals and she succeeded indeed. Truth is her beautiful body and face and charming personality made her a superstar in just one year, with lots of coverture in the press and medias. Her porn experience helped her become a model (for FHM and their annual calendar for example) and sexy underwears in which she decided to work by designing her own collections. She became a TV face too by hosting the Canal+ X-rated show “journal du hard” which could be translated as “the news of the porno world”. It was not until 2006 that she started turning into music, first by appearing into a rap video then signing with Sony Music for a first album DéCLARAtions that had a dance/R&B sound and featured rap artists. Three singles were released, J’aime, Sexy girl and Nous deux, but her best performance for me was her cover version of the Rita Mitsouko’s 80’s hit Andy.

Nuits Blanches has been in the making since over a year now as it was ready for release in 2009. Only slight changes must have been made on several tracks with additional production & remix on Le diable au corps and Même si je sais but it still sounds fresh. Clara Morgane produced it herself and she must have wanted to release it at the best moment and a pre-christmas release with additional 2011 calendar as a bonus was a good idea to reach her male fans and make them get a double feature by buying her new CD : the music and the calendar, even if it is smaller than the FHM type of one.
Talking now about the music, I was happy to hear she changed her musical direction. Nuits Blanches is an electro/dance masterpiece and there is not a trace of her previous R&B flavour. The songs are mostly sung in french, with strong lyrics almost written by Clara, with some english too, and the whole package is very upbeat, made for the dancefloor, althought real club addicts will call it commercial pop. The fact is that her songs are very good dance/pop songs with up-to-date electro sounds. They are not a collage of rhythms, loops and vocal samples but songs with lyrics telling a story, often hot and sexy, on strong dancefloor instrumentals. Clara must have put a lot of her in her lyrics and the result is awesome and incredibly addictive.

The album starts with Vous {You}, an ode to her fans that opens up perfectly the musical voyage into her new personal world with synthé loops building up in the background of several verses into a wall of electro sounds. The result is very laid-back, although still upbeat, and marks the the entry into Clara's nightclub CD.
The real thing starts with Le diable au corps {Devil inside}, the first single follows in its Syndicate Of Bass radio remix form, and you can’t resist it’s killer beat and very good lyrics. "Il faut me laisser faire, ne plus t'en faire, l'enfer pourrait te plaire..." she sings in the chorus and I don't think anyone would be able to resist her from taking you under her spell on this hypnotic groove. With 30 additional seconds, the original radio edit that closes the CD at track #12 is just a little bit more polished, Jey Didarko's remix having added a raw dirty musical touch for the radio release.
Même si je sais {Even if I know} is next and it sounds like a further single for sure, with a strong and catchy chorus melody. The music is hypnotic again, with waves of electro loops coming back onto Clara's vocals with repetitive beats and distortion sounds.
Celle que je suis {The one I am} is more delicate in its form, more melodic maybe, but still very catchy and has nice personal lyrics. Co-composed by Clara with her apparently current boyfriend Jey 'Didarko' Olivier (who is featured on the additional DVD as her love interest in the short film "Haut perchée" as well as the DJ in her video for Le diable au corps and playfriend in the sea on the beach video for Good time), this one sounds as good I would love to see it get a release as a single too, but nearly all songs here could be...
Mademoiselle X {Miss X} has an english chorus but her 'I'm madly, madly in love" sounded first to my ears as "A Madrid..." but there is no flamenco inspired music here ; just good electro beats once again co-composed by Clara with Jey. Lyrically, Clara exposes here the X-rated point of view on love, either with men or women, of a Miss X that could be her sometimes maybe...
IL {HE} may be the song where Clara’s lyrics shine the most and we understand why she says she’s been inspired by Serge Gainsbourg as she uses lots of alliterations with il and elle and play on words. I especially like the verses' conclusion line "Si versatile, viendra-t-il à temps?" that sounds just perfect. A video has been shot for this one and I can't wait to see it get a single release and discover further remixes !
Good time has got less electro and more disco/house sounds with a nice chorus all in english and breezy vocals. Clara wrote this one in Ibiza and it just sounds perfect for summer partying. The video shot in Corse on the beach along her half naked cute and sexy tattooed boyfriend would fit perfectly MTV or M6 video clips selection for next summer... Just one thing to say : it would have sound less lazy to write a second verse instead or repeating the same french verse over and over between the choruses...
Strange enough, the next song has got the same title as Ysa Ferrer’s previous single, and the ladies work in the same league of the electro dancepop divas, but they are very different, Clara’s French kiss sounding less gimmickly with its haunting spoken parts and breezy chorus in english. Once again, it is a song Clara wrote with Jey Didarko and it is the last one, most others beeing composed by Boulawan or Simon Cole. It starts with vinyl scratches and a sexy sultry spoken intro that is the standard form for the verses in fact. Clara's lead theme could be revealed here I think with the line "Au diable les préchi-précha !" Whatever what people or Holy Joe says, she does what she likes...
Nuit blanche {Sleepless night} starts with a soft and tender, nearly childish Doo doo doo doo line but very soon the electro groove comes back to back Clara's invitation to follow her in her sleepless night, on the dancefloor or between her sheets, who knows ?
Un peu beaucoup {A little bit more} sounds as if it samples some Ruychi Sakamoto, OMD or Art Of Noise 80's melody but it doesn't last long and there are no sign of it on the edition credits so it must be only an inspiration. Once more Clara's vocals are light and breezy, on a strong electro arrangement and on this one I get it she is no diva with a big voice but her little voice is perfect for what she has created on Nuits blanches ; she sounds sexy and warm without being too distorded by autotune vocoderized effects like many nowadays.
Hype is the last song of the album before Le diable au corps closes the CD in its radio edit form and it is the one I like the less. Maybe it is because of the mode addict lyrical theme or of the Hype repeated word that doesn't appeal to me. But it is the only one that won't get a A+ note from me here so who cares ?

In conclusion, I must confess I cannot get her album out of my mp3 player nor of my car CD player and I hope I am not the only one who will buy it and play it to death !

Like usual, you can get a sneak preview of it in the 7digital player on the right side of the post so you know what to do :) I know it is mostly sung in french but I would like to know what you think of her music. Get in the comments !

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