Magnet

The Magnet

by Bruno Coulais
     
 

The French film The Magnet (Comme un Aimant) by Kamel Saleh and Akhenaton depicts the aimless life of some disenfranchised young men in Marseille. This soundtrack could easily offer a compilation of hip hop chartbusters, but the creators didn't sell out. Akhenaton, from the French rap group IAM, and soundscore composer Bruno Coulais teamed to create some…  See more details below

Overview

The French film The Magnet (Comme un Aimant) by Kamel Saleh and Akhenaton depicts the aimless life of some disenfranchised young men in Marseille. This soundtrack could easily offer a compilation of hip hop chartbusters, but the creators didn't sell out. Akhenaton, from the French rap group IAM, and soundscore composer Bruno Coulais teamed to create some soul strong, tragically tinged, original music using French rappers and top American soul and R&B artists such as "Issac Hayes," Millie Jackson, The Dells, Marlena Shaw, and Dennis Edwards, lead singer for many years of The Temptations. Akhenaton's French rap labelmates Shurik'n, Bruizza, and Tony & Paco represent the Marseilles scene. Bruizza's deep voice on the tongue twisting "S" (all words begin with S) is an amazing vocal accomplishment, but with no printed lyrics nor translations (a significant flaw, since the music is in two languages) the meaning lisps away. The funkiest rap track is "Prime Example," performed by New York rapper Talib Kweli. Here Kweli sings as a rapper, tired of being idolized. His vocal parries against the string and trumpet syncopations makes for intriguing listening, even if you don't like rap. The bulk of the songs veer toward soul/R&B/gospel, and Coulais provides strong melodic lines against taunt rhythms and intriguing orchestral/brass treatments. The backup singers, Hearts of Soul, offer a unifying strength, stepping into the spotlight on "What's Your Answer," a riveting gospel rallier sung by Marlena Shaw. The songs here wrestle openly, pitting life's troubles against redemption, meaning, or salvation. Jackson and Shaw, with five tunes between them, keep valiantly close to the heart; and the male vocalists are not stereotyped into ganstas. Soul legend Issac Hayes offers the poignant "Is It Really Home?" portraying a man who returns to his turf to find nothing familiar, while Gerald Alston agonizes sweetly about his adulterous love affair in "Sugar." Dennis Edwards ends the album with the upbeat "Riding in My Car," the vehicle of escape from a hard life. According to one reviewer who caught the film at Cannes, the movie characters don't have the depth of the soundtrack. "Lock your car doors," she advises. To which I add, keep this album with you at all times.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/10/2001
Label:
Higher Octave
UPC:
0724385081026
catalogNumber:
50810

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bruno Coulais   Primary Artist
Dells   Track Performer
Dennis Edwards   Track Performer
Millie Jackson   Track Performer
Marlena Shaw   Track Performer
Gerald Alston   Track Performer
Patrick Bourgoin   Tenor Saxophone
Marc Chantereau   Percussion
Pierre-Alain Dahan   Drums
Isaac Hayes   Track Performer
Hearts of Soul   Background Vocals
Joniece Jamison   Choir, Chorus
Yvone Jones   Choir, Chorus
Phillippe Noharet   Contrabass (Vocal)
Slim Pezin   Guitar
Tony Russo   Trumpet
Franck Sitbon   Choir, Chorus
Tori   Choir, Chorus
Jean-Philippe Audin   Cello
Michael Robinson   Choir, Chorus
Jean-Paul Batailley   Percussion
Raoul Duflot-Verez   Keyboards
Cunnie Williams   Track Performer
Beckie Bell   Choir, Chorus
Talib Kweli   Track Performer
Christophe Guiot   Violone
Françoise Gneri   Alto
Theos Allen   Choir, Chorus
Philippe Aglae   Choir, Chorus
Bernard Camoin   Trombone
Guy Arbion   Bass Trombone

Technical Credits

Bruno Coulais   Producer
Alex Gopher   Mastering
Didier Lizé   Engineer
Akhenaton   Producer
Eric Chevet   Engineer

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