Comme si de rien n'était

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Comme si de rien n'était
Studio album by Carla Bruni
Released July 11, 2008 (2008-07-11)
(See release history)
Recorded 2007–2008
Genre Folk, chanson
Length 42:21
Label Naïve
Producer Dominique Blanc-Francard
Carla Bruni chronology
No Promises
(2007)
Comme si de rien n'était
(2008)
Little French Songs
(2013)
Singles from Comme Si De Rien N'Était
  1. "L'Amoureuse"
    Released: July 9, 2008

Comme si de rien n'était (English: As If Nothing Had Happened) is the third album of Italian-French singer and previous French first lady Carla Bruni. It was released on July 11, 2008, in continental Europe, and on July 14 in the United Kingdom, and on August 5 in the USA.[1]

Background information[edit]

The new album follows the No Promises album that sold about 500,000 copies around the world. This third album includes 14 tracks, all of them composed by Carla Bruni, with the exception of two songs written in collaboration with French novelist Michel Houellebecq and the singer Julien Clerc, a cover of You Belong To Me, and a cover of a song of the Italian singer Francesco Guccini (Il vecchio e il bambino). The production was by Dominique Blanc-Francard. The cover of Jean-Baptiste Mondino. The first single is "L'amoureuse." Note that the Image of Carla Bruni from the sale of his new work will be donated to the "Fondation de France" to be used in humanitarian causes.

Composition and production[edit]

Carla Bruni at the 2009 NATO summit, for the campaign, 4 April 2009.

Style and influences[edit]

The album has a contemporary country music that descends ultimately from a rural American folk tradition, but has evolved. It also features traditional folk music merged with rock and roll to form folk rock. Since the 1970s a genre of "contemporary folk" fueled by new singer-songwriters has continued with such artists as Chris Castle, Steve Goodman, and John Prine. Filk music can be considered folk music stylistically and culturally (though the 'community' it arose from, science fiction fandom, is an unusual and thoroughly modern one).[2] The genre is largely European, especially in France. The songs are primarily written by Bruni, though two are covers, and one (track 2) is an arrangement of an excerpt from a novel. In contrast to the spare production of Bruni's earlier albums, Comme features extensive instrumentation, the new producer Dominique Blanc-Francard, saying that he was trying to "amplify Carla's limited harmonic system", though the production is accused of rather "drowning it out".[3] "Ma Jeunesse", the first song from the album, begins with piano and it talks about love and young people in general. "La possibilité d'une île" is adapted from French novel "The Possibility of an Island" by Michel Houellebecq. "L'Amoureuse" talks about a woman in love and represents a good perspective of French music. "Tu es ma came" compares the intensity of passion to drugs; caused controversy due to the line "more dangerous than Colombian white [cocaine]", which provoked comment from the Colombian government. The preceding line "more lethal than heroin from Afghanistan" apparently did not provoke comment from the Afghan government. "Salut marin" is a very personal song from the album. This song, titled roughly "Hello, Sailor", is a farewell to her brother Virginio Bruni Tedeschi, who died in 2006 from complications of HIV/AIDS. "Ta tienne" and "Péché d'envie" are folk songs written by Carla. "You Belong to Me": In English, this song by Chilton Price, Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart is generally referred to as a cover of the version by Bob Dylan and was later included in the film The Boys Are Back, starring Clive Owen. "Le Temps perdu" and "Déranger les pierres" are songs written by Carla. "Je suis une enfant" is the eleventh song from the album. This track was praised as the strongest by Le Figaro. "L'Antilope" was written by Frédéric Koella. "Notre grand amour est mort" its a love song that talks about a relationship between a woman and a man. "Il vecchio e il bambino" is an Italian song by Francesco Guccini.

Release and promotion[edit]

"We had to cancel her international tour for security reasons but also because (French) people might not have accepted that their first lady would be onstage"
– said Bertrand De Labbey, CEO of talent agency VMA, who manages Bruni's music career.[4]

Bruni's media profile has been particularly prominent in recent months, thanks to widely circulated holiday photos in August, her appearance on the cover of the September 11 U.K. edition of The Economist for a story about her husband's slump in popularity and a salacious new biography, "Carla et les Ambitieux" by Michael Darmon and Yves Derai, which has received heavy press coverage. Reports recently surfaced in the French media that Sarkozy's aides had requested she delay her planned musical comeback due to fears that it could be politically damaging amid the current wave of French protests and strikes over economic reforms. Small wonder that, as Bruni continues writing songs for her fourth album, due in 2011, her team is contemplating how to balance her musical career with her status as first lady of France. That status caused problems when Bruni's third album, "Comme Si De Rien N'etait", was released in July 2008, five months after she married Sarkozy.[4] To promote the album Bruni made concerts featuring all the songs from "Comme Si De Rien N'Était", she passed through France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, U.K, Portugal, Canada and U.S.A.[5] As part of a government campaign to promote Gallic culture abroad, the French government has given copies of the album to 14, 000 marketing ambassadors overseas. The French treasury purchased the albums along with wine and cheese vouchers as part of the 1 million pounds campaign.[6]

Artwork and album title[edit]

The artwork for the album shows an image of Bruni standing next to a lake with the title in the center of the cover. The album was released in Digipack. The inside book shows the lyrics of the songs and there are drawings of different shapes made by Florence Deygas. The artwork shots were made by "Add a dog", a company in Paris. For the title, Comme si de rien n'était (As If Nothing Had Happened), represents a summary of the songs' content.

Singles[edit]

The single "L'Amoureuse" was released on July 9, 2008 as the only single from the album. A music video was made for it, it features projections of the city of Paris with animated cartoons representing Carla while the images of the cities are being projected.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]
BBC (favorable)[8]
Barnes and Noble 4/5 stars[9]
Okayplayer (68/100)[10]
The Telegraph (favorable)[11]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[12]
OMH 2.5/5 stars[13]
SFGate (favourable)[14]
Rate Your Music (2.41/5)[15]
Virgin Media 2.5/5 stars[16]

Tim Sendra from Allmusic said: "The title of Carla Bruni's 2008 album, Comme Si de Rien N'Etait (As If Nothing Had Happened), is a good joke. After all, since her last album Bruni fell into a whirlwind romance with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and ended up marrying him and becoming the "First Lady" of France. That's a pretty big "something", and indeed it isn't often that the romance of a singer and a president is chronicled on record as it is here—though you need to be fluent in French to catch the details, since only her cover of '50s pop classic "You Belong to Me" (which is a witty nod to a semi-scandalous trip the couple took to Egypt and other exotic locales before they were wed) is in English. You don't need to know exactly what's going on lyrically, because the intimate-sounding arrangements on the ballads and the light and breezy sound of the more uptempo tunes clue you in that there is romance in the air. Along with the nice arrangements, the best thing about the album is Bruni's intimate and sultry singing. She can purr like a Gainsbourg girl, strut sassily, or croon quite tenderly—sometimes all within the same song. Most of the time she sounds like you always hoped a '60s French bombshell would sound but never quite did (think Bardot or Birkin). Not surprisingly, Bruni appears totally in control throughout the album, which could be down to her having written almost all of the songs herself, or could be down to her new position in the world. Whatever the reason, it makes for quite an improvement over her previous album, No Promises, and fulfills the promise of her charming debut, Quelqu'un M'a Dit. It is probably the best album released by a "First Lady", but beyond that, it's a pleasant, sometimes compelling album by a singer/songwriter with some stories to tell and a lovely way of telling them." BBC said: "Bruni's disc may not win her new fans in the stolidly un-French speaking UK. But removed from the context of her very public private life, this is a charming album." The Telegraph said: "The Premiere Dame may have a colourful past, but her music has always been as classically chic and subtly sexy as her Christian Dior wardrobe." SFGate said: "Even before she married French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Carla Bruni had a thing for prominent men such as Mick Jagger and Donald Trump. So even though the lyrics on her third album, "Comme Si de Rien N'Etait" ("As If Nothing Happened"), were written before her latest romantic coup, it's hard to separate content from context, especially when, in the song "Tu Es Ma Came", the singer describes her lover as "more dangerous than Colombian white." But the mild-mannered music hardly matches the exuberance of lines like that. Slathered with strings, horns, and folk and blues guitars, Bruni's new album is not quite as charming as her 2003 premiere, "Quelqu'un M'a Dit." Still, songs such as "L'Amoureuse" and "Déranger Les Pierres" are quite beautiful, and "Salut Marin", a tribute to her late brother, might represent one of Bruni's finest recorded moments yet."

Commercial response[edit]

Comme si de rien n'était debuted at #3 on the French album chart the day after its release, selling 14,130 copies in two days.[17] The week after, it climbed to #1 with 18,248 sales,[18] before dropping to #2 with 13,364 sales.[19] After this impressive start, sales slowed and only 80,000 CDs were sold in the two months following its release. This represents barely the half of the printed copies[20] It is far less than expected, as Carla Bruni's first album sold 2,000,000 copies, and her second. To date, the album sold 500,000 copies worldwide.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Ma jeunesse (My Youth)"   Bruni 2:34
2. "La possibilité d'une île (The Possibility of an Island)"   Bruni, Michel Houellebecq 3:57
3. "L'amoureuse (In Love)"   Bruni 3:03
4. "Tu es ma came (You Are My Drug)"   Bruni 3:02
5. "Salut marin (Hello Sailor)"   Bruni, Taofik Farah 2:52
6. "Ta tienne (Your yours )"   Bruni 2:40
7. "Péché d'envie (Sin of Envy)"   Bruni, Raphaël Enthoven 2:54
8. "You Belong to Me"   Chilton Price, Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart 2:59
9. "Le temps perdu (Lost Time)"   Bruni 2:44
10. "Déranger les pierres (Disturbing the Stones)"   Bruni, Julien Clerc 3:13
11. "Je suis une enfant (I Am a Child)"   Bruni 3:07
12. "L'antilope (The Antelope)"   Bruni, Frédéric Koella 2:02
13. "Notre grand amour est mort (Our Great Love Is Dead)"   Bruni 3:25
14. "Il vecchio e il bambino (The Old Man and the Boy)"   Francesco Guccini 3:23

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date
France July 11, 2008
Europe
Spain
Switzerland
Belgium
Italy
Ireland
Germany
United Kingdom July 14, 2008
Portugal
Canada July 15, 2008
USA Digital July 22, 2008
USA Physical August 5, 2008
Brazil August 8, 2008
Argentina
Taiwan October 1, 2008, Jingo Records

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Argentina Albums Chart[21] 7
Austrian Albums Chart[22] 10
Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart[23] 6
Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart[24] 2
Danish Albums Chart[25] 38
Dutch Albums Chart[26] 31
Finnish Albums Chart[27] 23
France Digital Albums Chart[28] 1
France Albums Chart[18] 1
German Albums Chart[27] 15
Greek Albums Chart[29] 4
Italian Albums Chart[27] 14
Portuguese Albums Chart[30] 21
Spain Albums Chart[31] 32
Swiss Albums Chart[32] 3
USA Albums Chart[33] 195
UK Albums Chart[27] 58
Preceded by
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay
French (SNEP) number-one album
July 19, 2008 (1 week)
Succeeded by
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay

References[edit]

  1. ^ November 03006-20080611ARTFIG00021-carla-bruni-la-belle-reussite.php Carla Bruni, la belle réussite, Le Figaro, dernier accès le 11 juin 2008
  2. ^ Filk Hall of Fame acceptance speeches by Sally and Barry Childs-Helton
  3. ^ (Henley 2008)
  4. ^ a b "Carla Bruni's music plans spark political concerns – WTAQ News Talk 97.5FM and 1360AM". Wtaq.com. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.carlabruni.com/site.php?lang=eng&tracker=anglais
  6. ^ Sarkozy finds a way to boost wife Carla's singing career... give thousands of her CDs away for free to French 'ambassadors' Daily Mail. 5 May 2009
  7. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1404275
  8. ^ "Music – Review of Carla Bruni – Comme si de rien n'etait". BBC. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Comme Si de Rien N'Etait, Carla Bruni, Music CD – Barnes & Noble". Music.barnesandnoble.com. 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Brown, Helen (July 9, 2008). "Review: Carla Bruni's new album". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  12. ^ Spencer, Neil (August 10, 2008). "Pop review: Carla Bruni, Comme Si De Rien N'Etait". The Guardian (London). 
  13. ^ "Carla Bruni – Comme si de rien n'était | album reviews". musicOMH. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  14. ^ Vaziri, Aidin (August 3, 2008). "Sarkozy weds singer Bruni, paper reports". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  15. ^ "Comme si de rien n'était by Carla Bruni : Reviews and Ratings". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  16. ^ Gittins, Ian (2008-07-14). "Carla Bruni: Comme Si De Rien N'Etait review – Reviews – Music". Virgin Media. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  17. ^ "Francia; L'album di Carla Bruni terzo nella classifica vendite", La 7, July 7, 2008 La7.it (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  18. ^ a b "Disques : Carla Bruni en tête des ventes d'albums", Ozap, Antoine Masson, July 22, 2008 Ozap.com (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  19. ^ "Tops : la compilation NRJ devance tout le monde", Chartsinfrance, Thierry Cadet, July 29, 2008 Chartsinfrance.net (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  20. ^ "Carla Bruni, l'ultimo disco è un flop – Corriere della Sera". Corriere.it. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  21. ^ Comme si de rien n'était
  22. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Austrian Albums Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  23. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart Ultratop.be (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  24. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart Ultratop.be (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  25. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Danish Albums Chart Danishcharts.com (Retrieved August 8, 2008)
  26. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Dutch Albums Chart Dutchcharts.nl (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  27. ^ a b c d Comme si de rien n'était, German, Italian, UK and World Albums Charts Acharts.us (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  28. ^ French Digital Albums Chart Ifop.com (Retrieved July 24, 2008)
  29. ^ Greek Albums Chart Ifpi.gr (Retrieved September 20, 2008)
  30. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Portuguese Albums Chart Portuguesecharts.com (Retrieved July 29, 2008)
  31. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Spain Albums Chart [2] (Retrieved July 24, 2008)
  32. ^ Comme si de rien n'était, Swiss Albums Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved July 23, 2008)
  33. ^ Comme si de rien n'était

External links[edit]