Since her husband lost his job running France Carla Bruni has been the high-profile one in her power couple, and while Nicolas Sarkozy licks his wounds Carla has been polishing her licks back in the studio, and doing some work on her voice.
Her previous efforts have been in the well-trodden tradition of fragile, childlike warbling, so popular for French female singers who have chosen to ignore the power tubes of Piaf, Barbara or Catherine Ringer to name but three. Sighing sells, and has done since the 60s.
Carla is now on album number four with her latest release, but she insists she went back to school with voice coaches and exercises before rolling out this latest product.
“I worked my voice to give me more security and technique. In the beginning I asked myself whether people wouldn’t be adjusting the volume of their systems, saying ‘but… where is the voice?’,” she worries.
Ah, systems – but Carla, everyone listens to digitally compressed sound nowadays, where you get around five percent of the original recording.
Maybe that is all we need. Alright, let us hear about a song ‘Mon Raymond’, which she says is about her hubby, described as an “atomic bomb”.
“I changed the first name of my man for several reasons. Firstly I found it more comical, then I really like the name Raymond, and Sylvie Vartan sang a very beautiful song called Nicolas, so as he’s called Nicolas…”
Critics in France are getting all het up that one song, ‘The Penquin’, an attack on bad manners, could be about her husband’s successor Francois Hollande.
“In fact the song is a quite generalised song about the lack of courtesy, the boorishness, caddishness – well all of these things which appear useless to me,” she says.
It also seems useless to ask her political questions about her currently under legal investigation husband as well, as one journalist recently found out when pressing Bruni on the subject of the accusations against him for abuse of weakness and receiving illegal campaign donations.
“I will stop you right there. My husband has said everything he had to say. If you have questions you can direct them to him,” shot back Bruni, cutting the interview short and walking off. There is a lesson in manners right there.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s latest album, ‘Little French Songs’, is out now.