Dec 16, 2011

[REVIEW] MeeMee Nelzy: Ame Nouvelle (French Soul)


 RATING: 3 CHET BAKERS

I have a few albums in my music collection that are in languages other than English, such as releases from Les Nubians (French) and SoulDavid (Italian). And it's kind of strange to review an album in which you can't understand the primary language that it is in, however there is always the idea that Music is it's own language unto itself.  And so with that said, allow me to share my thoughts on French Soul singer, MeeMee Nelzy's album Ame Nouvelle.

Seeing as how I can't really go into the lyrics and substance of them, I will instead focus on the music itself, and the production of this, and make no mistake, this is a very good album.  I had heard of MeeMee only a bit prior to hearing this, as I had heard one of her songs, L'Essentiel, on DJ Come of Age's podcast "Soul Music of the World".

I have to say that there's something to be said for listening to an album in which you cannot understand the words.  I know that sounds odd to say, but it allows you to simply put it on and kick back and just enjoy the music for the music.  You don't really have to focus on whether or not the lyrics are adhering to your belief structure, or whether or not they are positive or negative influences, just enjoy good music.

As I said before, I have a few albums from other parts of the world, and it's an interesting experience to put something on that you can't understand the words, because we are so used to knowing what is being said.  It's a strange thing, indeed.

The music on this is so good though.  The vibe to this is very upbeat, very positive, very Jill Scott-like.  In Scott's music it's very much a celebration of love and life and all the great things that we have, while also dealing with the inevitable subjects of loss and pain as well, all while maintaining that positive vibe.  This album has that same feel to it. And MeeMee's voice has a very soothing and beautiful sound to it, that conveys the musical equivalent to the beauty that the singer possesses on the outside, as well.

In fact, the track "Face A Toi" has a very Jill Scott like feel to it, where I could absolutely hear Jilly from Philly singing over this.  The album also has a touch of Erykah Badu in spots as well. 

All in all, this is a very feel-good type album and I encourage you to pick it up.  If you know French you'd no doubt be able to get a bit more out of it than I ever could, however if you want some good music, this is definitely a good place to check out.

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