Just eight cellists and a vocalist – does not really sound like a typical Flyctory.com music review. However, the more I listened to Imamy’s 2021 album Voodoo Cello, the more I was fascinated by the sound. Let’s try out something new – and share this album with you! Release date of the album, which is covering pop songs, is 3rd September 2021.
Imany – About The Artist
Imany is an artist with French and Comorian roots. She was born in Martigues near Marseilles in Southern France. Her civil name is Nadia Mladjao, her artist name means something like “Trust” and “Believe”. She initially worked as a model, but then followed her music career. Her debut album was released in France in 2011. The Shape Of The Broken Heart was a platinum record and stayed in the French charts for almost two years. This also lead to Top 50 positions in Germany and Switzerland. Her third album The Wrong Kind of War was Top 10 in France and Switzerland and Top 25 in Germany and Austria (2016). The key success factor for that was a remix version of Don’t Be So Shy, which topped the charts in Germany, Austria and France in that year.
Imany – Voodoo Cello – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 55 minutes.
1. If You Go Away
The album starts with a song, which originally has been performed by Jacquel Brel (Ne me quitte pas). However, Imany is focusing on the (English) Neil Diamond version. The cello sound is very rhythmic, mystical in here. Her comments to the album even speak of a “trance” alike situation. Very deep, indeed. One of the best performances on the instrumental side, which comes with almost majestic sounds, blues-alike passages, but also almost psychedelic high notes.
What a contrast of two songs if you just look at the original. With Believer, the French-Comorian artist is interpreting a song by the Imagine Dragons. The song was the first which really attracted me to have a deeper listen
3. Wonderful Life
This ironic track is definitely one of my 1980’s favorites. Imany interacts very nicely with the instruments to create her very own sound around this classic melody. Thereby, you still feel the lyrics, which Black wrote with a wink. Nice re-interpretation.
4. I’m Still Standing
The tracklists I got (as well as the press kit) state a medley of Elton John’s classic and Lose Yourself by Eminem in here. However, there is no quote of the US-American rapper in my press promo. Imany’s deep voice starts slow with I’m Still Standing – but the song almost comes with swing qualities thereafter. Her deep voice is just giving a lovely, special touch for this song (again).
5. Les voleurs d’eau
A traditional song, which deals with slavery. The dark voice of the artist even boosts the impression of a mournful song. Still, not my favorite track on the album.
6. The A Team
Imany goes Ed Sheeran. Especially at the beginning of the song, the pronouncing of the lyrics is a bit too hard in my point of view. Later, the song turns into a much more joyful song, almost a song with dancing potential.
7. All the Things She Said
The artist really chose a wide range of originals for this album – this song by the Russian duo tATu is a great example for that. What I especially enjoy about this version is how much it finally directs your focus on the lyrics. A point, which is valid for many songs on Voodoo Cello, but especially significant in here.
8. Like a Prayer
In this cover, Imany turns the energetic, powerful Madonna track into a very condensed, intense and slow ballad. What an incisive character of her vocals in this song. I just cannot stand to listen to this version multiple times in a row – but it really fascinates me.
9. Total Eclipse of the Heart
While many songs start kind of slow and you are not really sure which song is next, the cellos give the main theme of this Bonnie Tyler song from the very beginning. I feel that this version just does not work out as well as others do. It is too close to the original, the intense voice becomes a bit too bothering for me while listening.
10. Take Me to Church
Especially how Imany is interpreting the song in the chorus, with extremely limited melodic support, is simply breathtaking. Extremely catching and intense – and by that one of the best songs of the album.
11. Black Little Angels
This song was originally released by Roberta Flack, called Angelitos Negros. The marching rhythm and the multi-layered cello play leads to one of the most complex melodic performances on the album. Good sound!
12. Wild World
This – more or less – last track of the album is definitely its highlight. The Cat Stevens classic is interpreted with strong accentuation – in the Comoran language. Great work on the cellos as well. Love it!
13. Wonderful Life (Steam Jockey Rework)
In this remix version, Wonderful Life has already been released as a single. I rather enjoy to listen to the original re-recording without drum elements – but the song definitely is a good one in this version. And yes, you feel like dancing.
Imany – Voodoo Cello – Spotify
Here is Voodoo Cello on Spotify:
Imany – Voodoo Cello – My View
I really love the album. It impresses me, it fascinates me. Voodoo Cello just has these on-point arrangement, a great sound. Of course, on top of all that, there is the great, impressive vocal performance. Imany did right to go for that concept for her new release after quite a while. She still just misses the very top ratings to me as some songs are showing weaknesses. Nonetheless, I hereby apply for a press ticket of her oncoming tour – this album will be breathtaking live on stage!
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