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Album Review:Ô Filles de l’Eau by Nolwenn Leroy.

Nolwenn Leroy,Ô Filles de l'Eau,

Nolwenn Leroy from

Nolwenn Leroy dips further into the Celtic seas with her new offering Ô Filles de l’Eau.

Truth of the matter: Nolwenn Leroy could have chosen a different musical path. Think of  French pop stars like Lara Fabian and Vanessa Paradis. These artists have the looks  talents that made them mainstream icons. Instead, she took a different artistic route. By weaving the Celtic sounds of her native Brittany and her classical training, she created a new sound. I call it Breton Celtic pop. It isn’t traditional Breton in the vein of  Dan ar Braz, Alan Stivell or Tri Yann. It is catchy and polished. But think about it. The big names associated with traditional Breton music that I mentioned have been courting mainstream audience by collaborating with other musicians lately. Alan Stivell made a duet performance with Nolwenn while Tri Yann did the same with Indonesian pop star Anggun.

Nolwenn Leroy’s music walks between two musical cultures. Let us consider the fact that she brought songs like “Tri Martolod“,”La Jument de Michao“,”Suite Sudarmoricaine” and the rest to the top 40 charts. This is quiet an achievement. She could have been another pop diva but she reached for immortality by following this direction. Years from now, these recordings will live on. Especially when one day she decides she wont be making music anymore. Because traditional songs never die. I noticed that her outfits represent the Breton color which is black. In her new music video, she embodies the sea goddess who comes to visit and marvel at the ‘souvenirs’ of ships inside a chapel. I think the chapel represents the affinity of the Celts(Breton) to spirituality while the ships show that they are people of the sea.

Nolwenn Leroy is responsible for singing,  arranging and composing most of the original tracks, except those noted. Being a violin prodigy at an early age, she also mastered the piano and other instruments. She was born in Saint-Renan, Finistère, Brittany. She  rose to fame after winning the second series of the French television reality show, Star Academy. In 2001, she enrolled in the University of Clermont-Ferrand to study law for a potential alternative career to music.

The new album Ô Filles de l’Eau contains thirteen tracks. Sorry if my French isn’t good but the title suggests something like “Oh Daughters of the Water”. The album is published in November 26, 2012 and produced by Jon Kelly.The cover art shows the singer/composer depicted as a mermaid. So go figure.Nolwenn Leroy

The carrier single “Juste pour me souvenir”(Just to Remember) went up to the top 40 charts in France and top 20 in Sweden.The video was shot in Yaudet . The song is written by Nolwenn and co-written by musician Ycare.

Although the songs are mostly in Breton and French, there are also English tracks. one of them is the James Horner pinned Homeland. Homeland is New Agey with electronic drums and exquisite orchestral arrangement. It sounds very Irish. In this track, Nolwenn sings in English like she’s from North America. Her voice is chameleon-like, moving from breathy contralto into soaring soprano. Limitless is another English track with a Peter Gabriel kind of  feel to it. This is brought about by the  booming spacey synths and astral synth drums.

I was running round and wild crashing into walls
Running so fast I always know but you’re never sure
All I’ve got is this love it might not be enough
It’s full of mistakes, full of regrets, it’s limitless, it’s limitless

Her rhythmic style is distinctive and consistent throughout her recordings. To quote this info from Wikipedia: Leroy’s music was studied for its neurological impact in geriatric populations.Researchers found that Leroy’s recordings might have a more beneficial effect than other music, noting that: “the music of Nolwenn Leroy was found to be significantly superior to other music tested”. To describe the phenomenon they coined the term the Nolwenn Effect, saying: “the music of Nolwenn Leroy appears to have a different effect on brain-based modulation of gait and stance than other music tested to date”.

Read this interesting article about her via Billboard Magazine:

Buy Ô Filles de l’Eau through her official site


Tracks and credits:


1. Davy Jones Christophe Miossec, Nolwenn Leroy/Jon Kelly, Boo Hewerdin 4:08
2. Juste pour me souvenir Leroy, Assane Attyé, Dave Bux 3:16
3. Ophélia Leroy, Kelly, Matt Johnson, Sophie Delila, John Parricelli 3:51
4. Sixième continent Leroy, Kelly, Johnson, Delila, Parricelli 3:52
5. Homeland James Horner, Kelly, Ciara Newell 3:27
6. J’ai volé le lit de la mer Leroy, Dele Ladimeji, Paul Boddy 3:44
7. À la vie à la mort Hubert Mounier 2:49
8. Aux filles de l’eau Leroy, Franck Fossey 3:09
9. Limitless Delila, Martin Brammer 3:15
10. Ahès Gwennyn, Leroy, Johnson, Delila, Parricelli 3:57
11. Sur mes lèvres Jean-Louis Murat 4:30
12. Tout a une fin Leroy, Kelly, Johnson, Laurel Arnell-Cullen 3:45
13. D’émeraude Jean-Christophe Urbain, Leroy 4:00
Bonus iTunes et Digipack
14. Davy Jones (English Version) 4:07
15. Lost again


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Rating: 4.4/10 (8 votes cast)
Album Review:Ô Filles de l'Eau by Nolwenn Leroy., 4.4 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
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