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A view on Blu-ray Audio discs by Daniel Lalla

Carla Bruni - Little French Songs [Blu-ray Audio] and CD + Blu-Ray Audio + DVD

 

 

  

  

 

 

  

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Producer: Universal Music Group (Teorema/Barclay EU, Verve USA)

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Total Music time: 0:41:05

Bitrate: Audio is encoded at 24/96 (24 bit depth and 96kHz sampling rate)

Chapters: 13 Tracks on the Blu-ray edition. CD only edition has 11 tracks.

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: March 29th, 2013

Blu-ray Audio Release date: April, 2013

 

Audio:

2.0 Stereo LPCM or DTS-HD 24 / 96 (24 bit depth and 96 kHz sampling rate)

 

Extras:

A foldout with photos and lyrics and a paper with a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads online. THE DIGITAL DOWNLAD IS AVAILABLE IN FLAC 24/96 or AAC 320 FILES
Produced By: Bénédicte Schmitt – engineering, mixing, production

 

Carla Bruni - Little French Songs Track Listing:
• "J'arrive à toi" (3:05)
• "Mon Raymond" (3:10)
• "Prière" (3:25)
• "Pas une dame" (2:57)
• "Dolce Francia" (3:55)
• "Chez Keith et Anita" (2:59)
• "Darling" (3:21)
• "La valse posthume" (long track) (3:19)
• "La blonde exquise" [bonus track] (3:08)
• "Liberté" (3:37)
• "Little French Song" (2:55)
• "Lune [Bonus]" (3:12)
• "Le pingouin" (2:18)

Singles: "Chez Keith et Anita", "J'arrive à toi" and "Mon Raymond"
Charting: Charted number 2 in france, number 8 Belgium

 

Interesting trivia : The track “Chez Keith et Anita” is an lyrically twisting imagining of spending a 70s summer partying over Europe with Keith Richards and his then-partner Anita Pallenberg. It’s a little ironic to me given the then-23 year old Italian model’s affair with Mick Jagger, while she was dating Eric Clapton. Now she’s kind of musically cheated on Jagger by imagining a summer with Richards? It seems the current Mrs. Sarkozy has numerous… friends in many, many circles.

Description: Bruni’s lyrics and style are somewhat poetic, if a little mysterious to her English fans but the ride is always a pleasant one. It is, however, somewhat lightweight but has a light-heartedness to it that is both endearing and simultaneously fails to engage in many respects. It’s a cool listen, but perhaps doesn’t have the sustaining appeal of other albums of hers. Music reviewing is highly subjective – if you love Bruni, there’s nothing not to like, but I didn’t find anything to love that kept me wishing for more.
 


Audio:

The audio for Little French Songs is nothing special to my ear. Given the nature of her recordings which are heavy on acoustic instruments I was hoping for an audiophile tour-de-force, but instead it sounds more franco-pop with the approach to the mix and compressed quality to the sound. It sounds more radio-oriented than recording-studio authentic…

As you’ll see from the graphics attached, there is not much dynamic range inherent in this recording. I think the CD or AAC tracks can do a more than acceptable job of managing here so the Blu-ray might be considered superfluous, BUT I will still recommend it because of the inclusion of the high fidelity 24.96 FLAC tracks. So WHY NOT encourage this format and the record companies to give you more when they do? Little French Songs gives you a better-than-CD download that you can easily convert with software like XLD to AAC or MP3 for all your devices, car, phone etc…

Analysis and graphics:
 

 

 

See the analysis curves for both the Blu-ray-derived tracks and the included FLAC download as well as the official DR score graphics. I have donated to join the “Pleasurize Music Foundation” to use their DR tool officially. PLEASE NOTE THE DIFFERENCE IN DR SCORE IS JUST DUE TO A VERY, VERY SLIGHT DIFFERENCE IN THE DR IN ONE CHANNEL WHICH ‘JUST’ BARELY ROUNDED UP TO 7 FOR THE FLAC TRACKS. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE I CAN DISCERN AT ALL. I ANALYZED THE EFFECTIVE BITRATE OF THE FILES FROM THE Blu-ray AND THE FLAC FILES AND THERE IS A LESS-THAN 0.2% DIFFERENCE IN THE NUMBER OF BITS ONCE COMPRESSED TO A LOSSLESS VERSION. (about 6 bps out of nearly 3000 kbps). It confirms my listening impression that this is not a very audiophile-type release.

 

Flac Blu-ray

 

My recommendations: At a very reasonable price, if you want this album there is no reason NOT to buy the Blu-ray. You get good audio, the full 13 tracks from the deluxe edition and a high quality flac download, BUT if you are a Bruni fan by advice is to get, for about the same price, the CD/Blu-ray deluxe edition because it also included a DVD disc with a few acoustic performances not available elsewhere. They could have easily put this on the Blu-ray PureAudio disc too!

 


  

Daniel Lalla

April 2nd, 2014

 

  

  

 

 

  

  

 

Tools Used:

MacPro with iTunes 11 using AudirvanaPlus.
XLD used for all file format conversions where needed.
AudioLEq Version 3 (paid version) for analysis and histogram
Output through TEAC UD-501 USB DAC (driverless in Mac OSX) with direct DSD support
Parallels Windows partition with Foobar 2000 with SACD and Dynamic Range plugins, using TEAC ASIO driver

Daniel Lalla

 

     

 




 

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