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Album Review

Keen to distance themselves from the globally successful Northern Irish originals, Les Prêtres' second album, Gloria, sees the trio of Catholic priests pursue a slightly more contemporary direction than their chart-topping debut Spiritus Dei, with cover versions of six modern French pop songs and three brand-new compositions alongside the usual fare of religious standards and classical adaptations. Daniel Guichard's "Mon Vieux," Gilbert Bécaud's "L'Indifference," and Michel Sardou's "Les Lacs du Connemara" are all treated to a slightly spiritual makeover, but it's Georges Brassens' "Le Priere (Je Vous Salue, Marie)," Florent Pagny's "Savoir Aimer," and Jean-Jacques Goldman's "Puisque Tu Pars" that receive the full works, with layers of anthemic orchestration, Gregorian chanting, and uplifting choral vocals accompanying the original Gallic pop melodies. This slightly bombastic approach is also favored on the four classical pieces from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ("Glorificamus Te"), Ravel's Bolero ("Au Commencement"), and Beethoven's 9th Symphony ("Le Vent de l'Espoir [L'Hymne à la Joie]") and Sonata Pathetique ("Mon Enfant Est Parti [Adagio]"), but the three-piece does occasionally tone things down, as on the subtle rendition of "Douce Nuit" (the only song here also recorded by the Priests) and the largely spoken word "Je Cherche Ton Visage," an original track penned by producers Florent Bidoyen and Roger Loubet. Les Prêtres may have been an opportunistic cash-in on someone else's idea, but Gloria's rather eclectic array of song choices suggests that the carbon copies are now one step ahead of their more traditional source of inspiration. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi


Formed: 2010 in Gap, France

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Modeled after the Priests, a classical music trio of Catholic priests from Northern Ireland who were a blockbuster success throughout Western Europe in 2008, French trio Les Prêtres have released several chart-topping albums. Hailing from Gap, the capital of the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France, the trio was founded by two priests, Le Père Jean Michel Bardet and Le Père Charles Troesch, and seminarian Dinh Nguyen Nguyen. In association with the TF1 label, Les Prêtres made their full-length...
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Gloria, Les Prêtres
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