SOURCE: Rykodisc

October 10, 2006 09:00 ET

Belinda Carlisle Returns With "Voila!"

An Album of Classic French Chansons and Pop Standards, Carlisle's Rykodisc Debut Is Set for Release on February 6, 2007

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2006 -- Belinda Carlisle's "Voila!," her first new album in a decade, and her first record sung entirely in French, is a radical departure for the pop diva and lead singer of the Go-Go's. Working with producer John Reynolds (U2, Sinéad O'Connor, Indigo Girls, Hothouse Flowers), Carlisle has fashioned a traditional pop album that pays tribute to the classic French chansons and pop music of the '40s, '50s and '60s. Just in time for Valentine's Day, the album is set for release on February 6, 2007.

"After I moved to France, I became familiar with the classic French chansons and a lot of French pop music," Carlisle explains. "I realized there was a whole world of artists and singers I was not familiar with. As I discovered all these amazing songs, I came to love this music and wanted to record some of them with a playful, contemporary feel."

Carlisle and Reynolds went into the studio with a musical dream team including Brian Eno on keyboards, guitarist Fianchna O'Braonain (Hothouse Flowers), Sharon Shannon, the Irish button accordion player who incorporates reggae, tango and calypso into her music, Julian Wilson (Grand Drive) on piano, Hammond B-3, strings, keyboards and world music star Natacha Atlas (Transglobal Underground) on backing vocals.

"We wanted to try everything, no holds barred," Carlisle says. "Since this is not a pop project, we were free to experiment. We played with every song, trying all sorts of instrumentation and different styles of arranging and everything clicked. The only definite idea I had was that I wanted to sing with an accordion. Other than that, there was no conscious effort to cover as much creative ground as we could; we just played around with things and had a blast."

The creative energy Carlisle and Reynolds brought to the project is evident on every track. Carlisle's smoky vocals and the diverse arrangements imbue the songs with a simmering Gallic soul. "Sous Le Ciel De Paris (Under Paris Skies)" sounds like a street carnival waltz with its mournful accordion and eerie keyboard accents, Francoise Hardy's "Pourtant Tu M'aimes" gets recast as a new wave rocker, "La Vie En Rose" bounces along on a driving disco backbeat and "Jezebel" sounds like the twang-drenched theme song from a spaghetti western. Songs like "Ne Me Quitte Pas" and "Avec Le Temps" are closer to their original incarnations, wrenching emotional statements made more intense by Carlisle's understated delivery.

"You don't really have to know what's being sung to know that 'Avec Les Temps' is a devastating love song," Carlisle says. "When I heard that song the first time, it broke my heart." Carlisle's first venture into French music proves once again that good songs are universal -- timeless expressions of the human soul that need no translation to work their exhilarating magic.

The songs on "Voila!"

1.  "Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp" (Guy Bontempelli)
2.  "Bonnie et Clyde" (Serge Gainsbourg)
3.  "Avec Le Temps" (Leo Ferre)
4.  "Sous Le Ciel De Paris" (Hubert Giraud/Jean Drejac)
5.  "Des Ronds Dans L'Eau" (Pierre Barouh/Raymond Lesenechal)
6.  "Pourtant Tu M'aimes" (Francoise Hardy/Jimmie Cross/Johnny Cole)
7.  "Ne Me Quitte Pas" (Jacques Brel)
8.  "La Vie En Rose" (Edith Piaf/Louiguy/David Mack)
9.  "Contact" (Serge Gainsbourg)
10. "Merci Cherie" (Udo Jurgens/Thomas Horbiger/Baker Cavendish)
11. "Jezebel" (Wayne Shanklin)
The players:
Belinda Carlisle: Vocals
Natacha Atlas: Additional Vocals on "Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp,"
 "La Vie En Rose," "Bonnie et Clyde" and "Des Ronds Dans L'Eau"
Brian Eno: Keyboards
Segat Guirey: Flamenco Guitar
Graham Henderson: Accordion
Winnie Horan: Violins
Clare Kenny: Bass Guitar
Fiachna O'Braonain: Guitars and Vocals, male vocal on "Bonnie et Clyde"
John Reynolds: Drums, Programming, and Producer
Nikki Leighton-Thomas and Pauline Scanlon: Backing Vocals
Sharon Shannon: Button Accordion
Julian Wilson: Piano, Hammond B-3, Strings, Keyboards

RYKODISC

Founded in 1983, Rykodisc was the world's first CD-only label and is the company that "reinvented the reissue." Rykodisc and its sister company Ryko Distribution are both headquartered in New York City and are subsidiaries of Warner Music Group. The Rykodisc vault spans over one thousand albums including the Frank Zappa catalog as well as the Restless and Hannibal labels. For additional information please visit www.rykodisc.com

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