REVIEW: Alma brings sensuality and soul on debut album “Ma peau aime”

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While we were busy watching and reviewing rehearsals and throwing Wiwi Jams in Kyiv, France‘s Alma went and released her debut album Ma peau aime. Now that we’re back home and suffering from PED, we finally had time to listen to her LP — and it is simply wondrous.

She is the gorgeous singer who took on the very difficult task of representing France at the Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv. Her “Requiem” closed the Grand Final beautifully, with a dazzling backdrop of Paris and the Eiffel Tower at the centre. Sadly, Alma could not break the top 10 like her predecessor Amir. She found this “immensely disappointing”, despite finishing a respectable 12th place and being the televoters’ tenth pick.However, Alma should be proud of her and her team’s work: not only did she do a great job in Kyiv, she also did amazingly in the studio as well. Her album Ma peau aime is beautifully crafted, full of enchanting surprises and nothing short of a masterpiece.

Ma peau aime, which means “My skin loves”, is also a play on “Ma poème” (My poem), and Alma’s studio album really reads like a love poem. Just like “Requiem”, her Eurovision entry, it’s both bright and dark at the same time, the true expression of a woman and an artist.

Alma’s opening single “La chute este lente” (The fall is slow), which she released back in June 2016, is also full of contradictions. Set to delightfully retro-nostalgic electronic beats, the lyrics speak of a woman missing her beau and openly expressing her slow but constant fall into despair. This is the alter ego of Alma the artist: a rampantly complex Frenchwoman, with both sun and moon in her eyes.

Ma peau aime is a passionate ode to love, both lost and found. On the title track, Alma says that it takes three to love: “You, desire, and me”. It’s an erotic track that goes further than we’d thought the French representative would ever go: “Touch my skin /My skin loves / When your hands scratch my back / Touch my skin / My skin / Will always find you handsome”. Big time sensuality!

One of our favourite songs off the album is “Ivre” (Drunk).

The rapid lyrics speak of a woman’s emptiness which she fills with alcohol, regrets and her own thoughts. The acoustic version below is perhaps even more striking than the heavily produced studio version, which is rather reminiscent of Indila.

The entire album, produced by Nazim Khaled (who was also behind Amir’s “J’ai cherche” at Eurovision 2016), is a window into Alma’s unpredictable artistry and soul. She is a multi-faceted singer and songwriter (she co-wrote 9 out of the 13 tracks on the album) and Ma peau aime thoroughly reflects that. If you want to discover the poet behind “Requiem”, if you think Alma was wronged in Kyiv and if you want to show her your support, buy her album Ma peau aime and you will not regret it. We definitely haven’t heard the last from Alma.

Alma’s debut album Ma peau aime can be found in stores now, as well as on the usual digital music platforms, including Spotify.

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