New Reviews: July 30, 2003

Reviews by Paula E. Kirman

quelqu'un m'a dit
Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni is a singer/songwriter from France who has sold over half a million albums in France, and around 200, 000 by fans in Quebec who have had to import her music. Finally, quelqu'un m'a dit is available domestically. Bruni has an acoustic, folk sound along the lines of Emmylou Harris and Edie Brickell, with definite influences from France such as Barbara and Françoise Hardy. Most of the songs on the album were written by Bruni herself, with a couple of notable exceptions like "La noyé" by the legendary late songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Bruni's mellow sounds and graceful delivery make quelqu'un m'a dit an excellent choice for anyone into music from France and contemporary folk.

Drop the Debt (annulons la dette)
Various Artists
World Village/Harmonia Mundi

The Third World debt is a serious issue affecting the quality of life of families throughout those areas. Because those countries are putting so many resources into the debt repayment, there is often little left for health care, education, and decent wages. The debt continues to grow each day. The artists who appear on Drop the Debt are performing for a variety of non-profit associations affiliated with Debt and Development, advocating for the cancellation of the debt. Cesaria Evora, Sally Nyolo, and Oliver Mtukudzi are just some of the names on this all-star disc, most of whom come from developing nations. It's great music with a social conscious.

Facing Beloved
John Wubbenhorst and Facing East
Facing East Productions

Facing Beloved is the latest project from Facing East, a musical ensemble led by composer John Wubbenhorst. Wubbenhorst's contemporary stylings on the bansuri (bamboo flute), as well as the Western flute, have an Indian influence which the backdrop of Indian percussion perfectly accentuates. The music is much faster and more lively that very traditional Indian music, making this an album that would appeal to a broader range of World Music listeners. It's sort of like Indian jazz, with bass guitar added to the mix for a groovy sound. Facing Beloved is original and exciting sounds in World Fusion.

Paula E. Kirman is the Editor of Inside World Music.