Music Review: Le Bonheur

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Le Bonheur by Storm Large

Singer, actress, and cabaret performer Storm Large presents a collection inspired by jazz standards in this 2014 album. With a musical career that’s been described as “lounge-core mash-up,” she offers some surprises as well. The album opens with Cole Porter’s classic “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” a version that starts with mellow strings and piano and builds to greater dynamics and drama mid-song. Large reaches into more recent history next by giving the punk/reggae band Bad Brains’ “Sacred Love” a sassy and bluesy treatment, and “A Woman’s Heart” is an original song that captures all the drama and slow, sultry mood of her more classic covers. “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” offers a mild rendition of a much-covered song, and the newer composition “Forbidden Fruit” melds orchestral and jazz-band accompaniment with darkly flirtatious lyrics. One of the more unexpected covers on the album, Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B.,” is jazz- and Latin-influenced, upbeat and danceable. More typical approaches to “The Lady is a Tramp” and “Unchained Melody” follow, familiar but engaging, with the latter scored to a simple acoustic guitar. “Ne Me Quitte Pas” is an English rendition of a popular French song from the 1950s, drifting into the original language in places. Large returns to Cole Porter with “It’s All Right with Me,” accenting the classic tune with some modern sounds, and a duet -- with the internet’s sad clown, Puddles Pity Party -- of the Tom Waits “Saving All My Love for You” is darker and moodier than you might expect. (Don’t confuse it with the Whitney Houston song!) Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love” is equal parts orchestral and pop, and the album closes with another original, “Stand Up for Me,” an inspirational message (“Be the light / Be the answer / Be the music in the dark”) accompanied by heartfelt strings. If you’re looking for a modern take on classic sounds, Storm Large might have your ticket. - Michelle (Sunset)

Storm Large comes to Chandler Center for the Arts on Feb. 18, 2022. From their website: “The sublime (slightly subversive) Storm Large returns to Chandler for a truly unforgettable night. Weaving together songs born of French cabaret, jazz standards, and a handful of originals, she creates her own singular interpretations. The result is beautiful and familiar, yet a bit twisted - much like the lady herself. (This show is recommended for mature audiences.)”

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