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A La Vida!

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Album Review

Ima's fourth album, A la Vida!, is an ornately produced collection of international pop standards, most of which date back to the 1960s and '70s. Her previous album, Smile (2007), was similarly comprised, featuring mostly French-language standards along with a little bit of original material. It was likewise produced by Guy St-Onge. Ima's vocals are once again front and center, backed by subtle string arrangements and light Latin rhythms. There isn't much differentiating A la Vida! from its predecessor other than the choice of standards. The album opens strongly with tropical-inflected versions of Véronique Sanson's "Drôle de Vie" and Paula Moore's "Valparaiso," the latter of which is the first of two English-language songs featured on the album. The other is Kris Kristofferson's "Me & Bobby Mcgee," a great country-rock song that isn't a good fit for Ima's vocal style. Elsewhere on A la Vida!, there are a couple of songs associated with the Beatles that are adapted to French: the 1966 favorite "Here There and Everywhere" and Mary Hopkin's 1968 hit "Those Were the Days," which was originally produced by Paul McCartney. Another French-language adaptation is "Yeux Ouverts," a version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Highlights among the French standards include Edith Piaf's "À Quoi Ça Sert l'Amour," Claude Nougaro's "Tu Verras," and Salvatore Adamo's "Mourir dans Tes Bras." Other standouts include a version of Tomás Méndez's "Cucurrucucú Paloma." Sung in Spanish by Ima, the Mexican standard is often associated nowadays with Brazilian singer/songwriter Caetano Veloso's memorable performance of it in the Pedro Almodóvar film Talk to Her (2002). A la Vida! also includes a couple originals, most notably "Matin," a charming song written by St-Onge. Too bad there wasn't more original material like this. The cover material is well selected but occasionally too familiar.


Born: 11 May 1978

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

French Canadian singer Ima was born Marie-Andre Bergeron on May 11, 1978. Growing up on the southern bank of Montreal, Ima spent much of her spare time learning dance, theater and song, ultimately choosing to focus on theater. In her adult life she took part in a number of successful film projects, including appearances in The Bone Collector and Eye of the Beholder. Not entirely satisfied with her dramatic career, she decided to turn her attentions to music, taking the performance name Ima, for imagination....
Full bio
A La Vida!, Ima
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  • 95,00 kr
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Jazz
  • Released: 27 March 2009

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