Sunday, April 20, 2008

Une femme qui se dévoile et qui suit ses envies

I know I've already posted about French (Moroccan-born) singer Sofia Essaïdi's "Femme d'aujourd'hui," but only by posting the video, not the song, and it's a song that's worthy of some more attention (though yes, I'm embedding the video again, because it's that great). To steal my own words from the first time around, it's very obviously inspired by "Umbrella"'s success, and it will and has taken criticism for that, but I hope that doesn't stop people from appreciating it. In terms of strategy or song creation, it's really not a world away from what Monrose did with "Hot Summer" and Timbaland's style (NOT in terms of actual sound...nor is it necessarily as good as the almighty "Hot Summer" either)--the influence is obvious, but there are also unique elements that set it apart or at least make it a song worth paying attention to on its own.

Let's take a step backwards for a moment, though, and talk about the context. Sofia participated in Star Academy back in 2004 and released her debut album, Mon cabaret, back in 2005, with the title track functioning as the lead single. That's the last music she's really done commercially until now, though (at least beyond a "featuring" role); she got the lead role of Kamel Ouali's new musical Cléopâtre (opening in January 2009), though, and "Femme d'aujourd'hui" is being released as a single as a tie-in.

(Watch the video in better quality here.)

Femme d'aujourd'hui--a few things first: 1.) this is the radio edit, and 2.) it's not "ripped from the video but masquerading as real" audio quality--it's actually good quality. Now, onto the song itself: you'll see those "Umbrella" similarities most in the chorus (you could probably sing the "Umbrella" chorus over the top of "Femme d'aujourd'hui"'s if you wanted to) and the basic backing beat (the percussion). The pipes play up the Cleopatra connection, giving it a a bit of "ethnic" flair that "Umbrella" never had, and there's something slightly...softer about the song; though that could just be Sofia's voice, I think there are other little touches--a little strummy acoustic guitar in the chorus, for example--that help create that impression, making it a less sparse and foreboding song than "Umbrella;" that doesn't mean the song doesn't still have a certain grand flair around it, though. The glossy video is fantastic as well, very much making Sofia out to be a great popstar; one watch and you'll be unable to listen to the song without images of desert landscapes and giant silver rings flashing into your head. By the way, French isn't really my thing, but I think the song is very much a woman empowerment sort of anthem--the title means "Woman Of Today."

To buy Sofia Essaïdi's single "Femme d'aujourd'hui," go here (physical, though the physical single might not be out yet). This song will be posted for just a short time, since it's a new and currently charting single.

Next up: another song with a video I've posted before.


Yuяi said...

It DOES have that Umbrella ella ella ella feel to it. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

In this picture she looks like Stacie Orrico* =)

I like the song, it's catchy *.*
And yes ''ella, ella'' lol

Poster Girl said...

It does--and is :)

I didn't think of that! I'm glad you like the song!