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Sunday, 13 January 2013 02:35

France: 'Una Parte Di Me' by Amaury - A Review

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It is quite apparent that the Eurovision Song Contest is being used as a launching platform for several artists with record labels banking on the exposure to push them to successful pastures and with countries gearing up to select their representative entries for the event taking place in Malmö, Sweden, more artists will move into the fray. Nevertheless, January is somewhat an intriguing month in which early stages of selections are set to take place with six countries having selected their entries for the competition during the month of December as 2013 was still drawing near. In the meantime, singer/songwriter Jean Claude Vancell is definitely going to be one of the key individuals during the upcoming months continuously providing you, the readers with the latest album reviews whilst also coming in as a special guest to analyze a couple of selection formats during the evenings. Following the reviews of the albums Heal and Sans Attendre by Loreen and Celine Dion respectively, another album has been carefully analysed, the one entitled Una Parte Di Me released by Amaury Vassili. What did Vancell think about it? Keep reading this post and find out.

About Amaury Vassili
Amaury Vassili is a French tenor, born in June 1989. He entered the music scene in 2009 with his album Vincerò, which went double platinum in France. He also had success in Canada, South Korea and South Africa. He followed his success with another album entitled Canterò, released a year after. He is now back with his latest collection of songs – Una Parte di Me. With a velvety texture to his voice, tenor Amaury Vassili returns to music stores with his newest offering: the album “Una Parte di Me”. Many of us remember this fresh-faced tenor when he competed in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest held in Dusseldorf, flying the French flag with his entry ‘Sognu’. Numerous polls put his number in high ranks, many betting he might take the contest back to French grounds. The results on the night showed otherwise, when he placed 15th after a hair-raising performance.

Album Title: Una Parte Di Me
Released: 22nd October 2012 (France)
Vassili released this studio album under Warner Music. It features the best from the greatest classical composers such as Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Brahms giving them a pop opera feel. Of all the songs on the album, I felt that the title track, “Una Parte di Me”, had a very awkward arrangement. The beat used left me feeling uneasy and thinking that Mozart would probably be turning in his grave just for its production. Needless to say, there is nothing wrong with Vassili’s vocal interpretation in the track. His vocals shine through, even with the unexpected rock drums. Personally, I would have preferred the tenor to have left the arrangement just as Mozart had intended, and lent his beautiful voice to it.
The tenor included two duets on the album, featuring Sofia Essaidi on I Silenzi tra Noi and Domenique Magloire on I Lago Dei Cigni. Both efforts are a pleasure to listen to. His Chiaro di Luna was a lavishly sung piece, however Debussy’s Claire de Lune (originally just a piano instrumental) is one of those pieces I would leave untouched. The vocals, in my opinion, detract from the piece’s beauty. Vassili closes the album with a French rendition of Siamo il Futuro (which he sings in Italian with a children’s choir a few tracks before). This is the only track in French – and it’s a very welcome ending. I most definitely prefer Amaury singing in his native tongue. Even though his Italian diction is very good, it lacks the open vowels that are required for the language. Nevertheless the diction does not detract from the album’s listening value.

Tracks to listen out for:
Siamo noi il futuro –The song builds up gradually and has wonderful orchestration. Leave out the awkward diction that the children’s choir lend to the track, and you have a beautifully laid out song. Until now I had forgotten that Vassili is a French guy singing in Italian.
La Guerra – Bach’s composition for cello shines through the opening of this track and lends itself very well to the song. A good mid-tempo song which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even people who would not normally enjoy opera pop would take a liking to this one.
I Lago Dei Cigni – If this album were a dessert trolley, this track would be the chocolate fondant. A rich instrumentation accompanies Vassili’s and Domenique Magloire’s voices on this rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic “Swan Lake”.
Final Verdict
Hand on heart I admit I was dreading listening to an hour of pop opera, but I was wrong - this album had me hooked. Vassili, you changed my perception of the genre! The album is truly enjoyable and would recommend a listen to anyone. It might not be a opera fan’s cup of tea, since the tracks have been pop-ified (I know that word doesn't even exist!) to a large extent. I will still prefer Claire de Lune as a piano instrumental, but hey, everyone’s entitled to his opinions at the end of the day!
Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2013 03:08