She’s not going to shed any comparisons to Celine Dion with her second English album, but Lara Fabian sounds so good in the process. For now, she’s wonderfully free of the Vegas-tainted Diane-Warren inflicted slough that currently coats Ms Dion like a shroud. A Wonderful Life is comparable to Ms Dion’s best album to date, Falling Into You, and the self-titled album that came before it. The opening track No Big Deal is delightfully dichotomous in that it can easily be a typical pop mid-tempo ballad, until the chorus kicks in, that is, and then the song turns into something straight out of a Jem and the Holograms repertoire. It’s tacky, it’s so delicious ear-candy, and I love every minute of the song.
Likewise, the other tracks on this CD are equally fabulous in that they embrace cheese and class with equal gusto. Wonderful Life, Silence, and I Am are delivered with generous side helping of corn and cheese – and they sound so good, thanks to infectiously catchy choruses that are too easy to sing along to. They are melodramatic, filled with one-dimensional catchiness, boosted by Ms Fabian’s genuinely powerful vocal chords.
While Celine Dion is currently the sole empress of that world where tackiness, cheese, and musical oddball quirks exist in simpatico, Lara Fabian proves with A Wonderful Life that she too can deliver too-catchy, so-listenable radio-friendly pop tunes with generous camp elements like the best of them. She’s getting there. Ms Dion has better watch keep a close eye on the crown she wears on her narrow trapezoid head.