French Kiss


This was sort of accidental. I hadn’t planned on getting this soundtrack, but at the time I was looking at Something’s Gotta Give, a soundtrack I’ve been attempting to get my hands on for quite some time. I had a random thought; “What does French Kiss have on it?” I remembered Paolo Conte’s song because it was fun and I actively searched it out, and there were several other songs I enjoyed in the movie, so why not?

There is no one composer; the CD is an amalgam of songs from new and older times, but all give the movie great atmosphere – wait till you see who’s involved.

1.) "Someone Like You" – Van Morrison 4:06 Haven’t heard this song yet? Bridget Jones’s Diary? No? Well get in on it. A rather romantic song with piano and Van’s strong, clear voice stretching out over the stage… "I’ve been searching a long time… For someone exactly like you…” Love this song.

2.) "La Vie En Rose" – Louis Armstrong 3:22 Ok, tell me you’ve heard this one. No? Something’s Gotta Give? Ah, well you need to get in on this little bit of gold. That lonely little trumpet isn’t sad singing on his own, because he’s got Louis to sing with him, in that low, somewhat gravely voice that manages to work so well and make so many people smile. It’s a great song and fantastic to slow dance to. I haven’t yet, but I totally would.

3.) "Les Yeux Ouverts" – Beautiful South 3:33 I think French chocolate when I hear this song, it’s so smooth, cabaret-like, perfect to dance to – in fact, this is the song playing when Kate (Meg Ryan) is dancing with her loser ex-fiance Charlie. The singer has a seductive edge to her voice and the violins sweep over the air with the piano ringing out clearly. No idea what she’s saying as it’s all in French, but I don’t much care.

4.) "Via Con Me" – Paolo Conte 2:36 I made a point to find this song years ago because it’s just fun to listen to. Again, in French, so I have no idea what the male singer is saying, but it sounds live as there is applause in the beginning and end, and a slight echo. It’s mostly him singing with a little guitar strumming behind him, a saxophone solo, and then singing again. "It’s wonderful, I dream of you.” (one of the few English lines)

5.) "I Love Paris" (featuring Toots Thielemans) 1:38 Ah! I like this rendition of the song. Haha. James Newton Howard had a hand in this, fyi. It’s fast, fun, I have no idea what the lead instrument is, but it’s fun, aimlessly wandering the streets of Paris at night, and I really wish this song were longer.

6.) "Feels Like A Woman" – Zucchero 5:12 I’ve never heard this song in the movie, and if it is there (credits maybe?) I never heard it, but I can tell you right now – I like it. It’s very mellow with a little piano, electric guitar, and almost has a mystic, distant feeling to it. There are background singers for the lead male singer and it adds a really nice touch when they hit the chorus. Nice and slow and long, my favorite song so far on this CD.

7.) "I Love Pairs" – Ella Fitzgerald 4:57 Making me think of a slow waltz (not that I’m familiar with waltzes), it’s not exactly a happy, peppy song. Slower, vaguely romantic, but more like Ella doesn’t really love Paris at all, similar to Meg Ryan in the movie, and is only going there because her love is there and no other reason. She does have a lovely singing voice though.

8.) "Verlaine" – Charles Trenet 3:10 Sounding like something you’d hear coming out of a phonograph, it’s got that slightly muffled tone and with instruments playing in unison, old-timey style and a male lead singer. More French, but noting wrong with that. After all, the movie is set in France, so clearly it’s going to have French music. Kick back and sip some wine.

9.) "C’est Trop Beau" – Tino Rossi 2:31 This sounds a little newer, but almost as though it’s got some slow samba mixed in. The lead singer is again male, serenading his words to the listener, violins playing casually, swaying down after his words. He’s even got some back up singers for a few spots. It’s an abrupt end, though it manages to work.

10.) "La Mer" – Kevin Kline 3:44 So if you didn’t know this was Kevin Kline singing this song, I don’t think you’d ever figure it out. He sings so low and so gently – and in French – that it could easily be some other guy. The violins give it that nice old-fashioned movie touch. For those of you who don’t know, this is actually “Beyond the Sea.” A good version of that is by Robbie Williams. Anyway, a very sweet song, well done Kevin.

11.) "I Want You" (Love Theme from French Kiss) – Composed by James Newton Howard 2:04 My boy! Or one of them anyway – James Newton Howard! He has a tendency to do mellow, loving tunes, or just gentler things than you may hear from some other composers (not to say he can’t get loud and brash). A short, but sweet piece, right from the movie, flutes and clarinets in the lead with a little piano and guitar. It makes you smile.

12.) "Les Yeux De Ton Pere" – Les Negresses Vertes 3:57 Just the song you want to play if you’re grand theft autoing your way around Paris similar to Kevin Kline in the movie. It’s all French, naturally, but it’s fast and fun with a couple of blaring trumpets here and there along for the ride. It sounds like a group of Frenchmen in on this song, one in the lead and a few others echoing from time to time. Bob your head and enjoy. (I think they were looking for a Bob, actually…)

Though I love almost every song on here (not too jazzed about Ella, sorry Ella fans), I do have to say my favorite is probably “Feels Like A Woman.” There’s a good chance that’s because it’s so different from the rest of the songs on here – several of them I’ve heard already, either because I have them or I remember them well from the movie (or other movies), but this was totally new and I really enjoy it. I wish also that some of James Newton Howard’s pieces were longer because they’re so lovely.

Overall though, I really do like this CD. It’s great to just sit and listen to while you play around. I’ve got it playing again and I’m back to track 12 and I think this would be really fun to clean to. My mom loves French music, so I’m going to have her give this a listen. I also think this would be tons of fun to cruise down the road to. When I move, I’ll have to make sure some of these songs are in rotation when I’m sailing down the freeway.

NT

Originally published on Epinions.com

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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.