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Belinda Carlisle

Voila (Rykodisc)


Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go's might have been the sexiest female singer of the '80s, with an alto vibrato that was just as alluring as her American-girl glow. But in the ensuing years she's been lounging in southern France, where she perfected her delivery of the most romantic Romance language for this all-French album. (Early pressings feature a bonus EP of four English adaptations.) Voila is far removed from both Go-Go's-style pop and the peppy side of her solo material. Instead, it's a Linda Ronstadt-like reinvention as a torch singer. Carlisle covers standards and chansons made famous by icons including Serge Gainsbourg and Edith Piaf, drifting from swirling world music to button-accordion waltzes and supper-club ballads. "I Still Love Him"/"Pourtant Tu M'aimes" best recalls her seductive new wave. Joining in on keyboards, Brian Eno adds a dash of expert ambiance to bittersweet bliss of "Ne Me Quitte Pas"/"If You Go Away," which closes the English EP with an impassioned "please don't go away." Mademoiselle Carlisle, you should stick around, too.