on April 15, 2004
If you're into French music and haven't heard Bruno Pelletier, this album is a perfect introduction to his stuff. If you aren't really into French music but are curious about it, Bruno is a great artist to start with. If you aren't curious about French music, then it's time to expand your mind a little and give it a try! But if you, like me, are a long-time Bruno fan, then this is just another beautiful album to add to your collection.
Bruno Pelletier, a Québecois artist who began to find international fame following his success as the poet/narrator Gringoire in the musical Notre Dame de Paris, is the rare kind of singer who can appeal to all kinds of music fans. If you attend one of his concerts, you'll see a crowd made up of teenagers who like to rock out, theatre-goers who bask in Bruno's amazing stage presence, mellow folks who admire the sincerity with which he delivers all of his lyrics, and even silly Americans like me who've learned French by studying his lyrics, just because they can't resist the lure of a beautiful voice.
The aforementioned beautiful voice is probably the first thing that you'll notice about this album, especially if you can't understand all the words. "Un monde à l'envers" covers a wide range of musical styles, from the rock feel of songs like "Je crois pourtant" and "Toujours et maintenant" to the classically-influenced "Le plus beau concerto," from the songs like "Ma jalousie" or "L'or du temps" whose catchy rhythms put the best of pop music to shame, to the softer sentimental ballads like the haunting "Le clown" or the breathtaking "Madeleine." And Bruno Pelletier's voice soars over all of these, taking on the challenge of different genres with ease.
But no matter how many styles Bruno sings, his voices always seems to fit best with the kinds of soaring songs that, when performed live, inevitably cause jaws to drop and tears to spring to the eyes of the listeners. Never one to disappoint, Bruno has included such a gem on this album, a song by the name of "Depuis que t'es parti." Starting off at a slow rock-ballad tempo, the song slowly builds in intensity and range until the singer's voice is wrapped so tightly around the heart of the listener that you're almost afraid of what would happen should he let go. Thankfully, he releases you gently, for instead of jumping off a cliff at the end, as rock ballads have a tendency to do, "Depuis que t'es parti" eases back into a softer sound for the last two lines, which makes the ending very powerful indeed.
Do yourself a favor and pick up this album; if you don't, you'll be missing out on one of the most powerful voices in pop/rock music today.