(2008) The Birth Of Cornelius

Corneille

... read moreAfter releasing two platinum French-language albums that were heavily influenced by his family's murder at the hands of a Rwandan death squad, neo-soul singer Corneille realized he was "becoming a symbol for something, a persona." On the Rwandan-Canadian artist's first English-language album...

48′:26″ 11 Songs

1
Corneille
Back To Life (Album Version)
4:34
2
Corneille
All Of My Love (Album Version)
3:03
3
Corneille
Liberation (Album Version)
3:33
4
Corneille
A Man Of This World (Album Version)
4:32
5
Corneille
Murder (Album Version)
4:09
6
Corneille
Foolish Heart (Album Version)
5:27
7
Corneille
Too Much Of Everything (Album Version)
3:46
8
Corneille
Home Is By You (Album Version)
5:43
9
Corneille
I'll Never Call You Home Again (Album Version)
3:48
10
Corneille
Sweet Dependency (Album Version)
4:38
11
Corneille
Heaven (Album Version)
5:13
Released 01 January 2008, ℗ 2008 Universal Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc. and I.G. Records, Inc

Review

After releasing two platinum French-language albums that were heavily influenced by his family's murder at the hands of a Rwandan death squad, neo-soul singer Corneille realized he was "becoming a symbol for something, a persona." On the Rwandan-Canadian artist's first English-language album, feelings of despair and the search for peace are once again touched upon, but when the provocative title "Murder" leads to a breezy, almost Swing Out Sister song that uses homicide as a metaphor for breaking up, there's little doubt the "persona" is shaken. Save a couple autobiographical lines found in "A Man of This World" and "Heaven," plus the heart-wrenching genocide commentary that's "I'll Never Call You Home Again," the singer/songwriter's connection to the past here is mostly neo-soul, influenced by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, and others Corneille has declared were his father's favorites. Dad was also a Tracy Chapman fan and that figures into the mix, and judging by the humble acoustic soul that fuels key track "Too Much of Everything," some Bill Withers records must have been in the collection. Work in a modern John Legend-styled croon plus string arrangements from MFSB alum Larry Gold and you've got the sound, but the reason to fall for Corneille is his unique comfortable and conversational lyrics. Unfortunately, this self-produced album sounds a tad too bright and the great "I'll Never Call You Home Again" is way too heavy to be anything but a closing number. Still, returning fans will find Corneille's evolution remarkable, while all the newcomers will get a rich and rewarding soul-folk experience. ~ David Jeffries