Julie Zenatti first interpreted the role of Fleur-de-Lys and later Esmeralda on stage for the musical Notre-Dame de Paris. In a press statement, Plus de Diva is described as a piece of contemporary poetry, with extra cinematic and symphonic touches. It features a mix of pop and classical music, as evidenced by the first single, 'L'Herbe tendre,' which is based on a prelude by J.S. Bach.
The Gossip close Music for Men with a song called "Spare Me from the Mold," but Beth Ditto, Nathan Paine, and Hannah Billie could never be accused of conforming. They were still a relatively underground group when Standing in the Way of Control's passionate mix of punk, soul, and disco became their breakthrough – and they sounded so confident on it, it felt like the mainstream was coming to them rather than vice versa. They've got their own piece of the pop (and pop culture) mainstream now, and Music for Men feels aboveground in the best possible way. Befitting its major-label debut, this is the band's most polished music yet, a balance of Control's ferocity and the sleek remixes of the album's singles, but it's still not slick. Most of Music for Men finds The Gossip sticking to their roots and using their success to get their messages out to as many people as possible. These songs are just as empowering as their earlier work, though they're more subtly defiant.
Lou Busch was a major arranger/conductor who created an alter ego for himself in the guise of Joe 'Fingers' Carr, the ragtime and honky-tonk pianist. For the first time on one compilation we present both facets of the spectacular Lou Busch / Joe 'Fingers' Carr career. All of Joe 'Fingers' Carr's hits are included "Let's Do It Again!", "Music! Music! Music!", "Maple Leaf Rag", "Portuguese Washerwomen", "Sam's Song", "Down Yonder", "Tiger Rag", "Beer Barrel Polka", "The Old Piano Roll Blues" and many more! In addition are his great orchestral works plus his hit recordings with wife Margaret Whiting and all three tracks from Roger And Hammerstein's 'The King And I'.
The soundtrack to Christina Aguilera's silver screen debut Burlesque shines the spotlight on Xtina, who is in full-bore diva mode – a return to the splashy swing of Back to Basics after the robotic R&B of Bionic. Of course, many of her collaborators from Bionic remain on Burlesque: Tricky Stewart is responsible for the glitzy dance, and Sia Furler co-writes the ballads, their contributions slotted between two Cher songs designed to push the narrative forward, two Etta James covers, a slice of heavy camp in the mincing "But I’m a Good Girl", and a Nicole Scherzinger co-written interpolation of Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" that provides a bewildering conclusion to this soundtrack. Some of this stuff is quite good, particularly when Christina swings her hips to Etta's lead, bringing to mind the zest of "Ain’t No Other Man".
Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian canary with the voice like honey and diction that defied belief, has been compiled many times on Verve, but rarely as well as on her entry in 2003's The Diva Series. A 21-track of her prime decade, the '60s, this one includes all of the classics associated with her: "The Girl From Ipanema," "Agua de Beber," "Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)," "So Nice (Summer Samba)," and "Dindi." Not all of her LPs have been reissued on CD (in the States), so the compilers also added tracks that may surprise a few Gilberto fans, like "Eu e Voce" and "Canto de Ossanha (Let Go)."