reviews, about the artist, product description

his voice is rare beauty no other singer in my many years of listening has consistently moved me quite so much Sing Out!, USA

yacoub's music has the assured sound and feel of someone doing what comes naturally... highly recommended for alternative outlets Billboard, USA

when you think of gabriel yacoub, you think of the founder, voice and soul of the innovative french group malicorne
for ten years malicorne revived the magic of what some today call "world music" by integrating currently popular instruments with crumhorns, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies, with stunning vocal arrangements
they transformed well-chosen traditional and medieval ballads, through unusual and powerful voicings, into modern songs relevant to our times
yet yacoub did not stop there
with malicorne at its height, he launched a solo career, and developed his own musical personality though still drawing on his traditional background
his lyrics, melodies and superb arrangements reflect the immense experience of fourteen albums and countless influences until now
his work has been described as a labyrinth that reveals more beautiful landscapes at every turn
his solo tours have taken him to over 700 american, canadian and european venues, a remarkable testimony to this musician's stage presence

it is a collection of songs, including 4 in english, old & new, plus some previously unreleased. the album is all acoustic
the project allowed gabriel to review some of the arrangements for songs that had been released on various of his previous albums

the songs are:

the simple things we said is the english version of les choses les plus simples (bel 1990)

the song had been translated by ellen hinsey, assisted by nikki matheson & gabriel, after dave van ronk asked for his project to all my friends in far-flung places (gazell 1994) this is a double album that gathers songs he likes, written by the such as bob dylan, joni mitchell, paul simon, tom paxton, & more

it seems that the song is to the like of some anglophone artists it has been sung before by june tabor & joan baez (in french), on the european release of gone from danger (virgin 1997)

dame : petite dame new song, also featured on : yacoub : this is a different version

le jeu des grillons / je serai ta lune new versions these 2 were on bel, and remained some of gabriel's favorite for live performances

le garçon jardinier is a traditional song from le berry. it previously was on malicorne's second album (hexagone 1975) it remained in gabriel's repertoire since then

mes belles anciennes compagnes. it's a new song & a fake autobiography. it also appears on : yacoub : this time again, it is a different version gabriel played with some rare & precious words

letter from america the song appeared on the quatre album.

désir is from babel, with sweet harmonies by kate & anna mcgariggle

ces dieux-là this is an acoustic version of the song featured on quatre

beauté / 12th song of the thunder different acoustic version of the one featured on quatre gabriel sings in english the part that had been originally recorded by nikki matheson & paul brady

les choses les plus simples this is an unusual, minimal version, of this standard yannick hardouin plays the fender rhodes

the simple things we said

gabriel yacoub began his career singing and playing guitar in alan stivell's band, before going on to form the legendary french renaissance rock band malicorne
malicorne's légende: deuxieme epoque compilation cd exceeds the quality of any of the similar compilations from their english contemporaries steeleye span, and is on a comparable level with the best output from fairport convention
malicorne split up twenty years ago, and i hadn't heard any of yacoub's subsequent solo material until i recently got the chance to listen to 2002's the simple things we said
this album combines new songs with reworked versions of some older songs, with the specific intent of cracking the american world music market
a couple of things have changed in yacoub's music since his malicorne days
for one thing, while most of the songs on the simple things we said are sung in french, yacoub also sings in english on a couple of songs
the title song is an anglicized version of an older song of his called "les choses les plus simple"
he wrote a short english song "letter from america" for the album, and does a chilling cover of the song "you stay here" from one of his favorite english-speaking songwriters, richard shindell
most of the music on this cd falls into the category of straightforward acoustic folk, as opposed to the medieval and rock ends of malicorne's musical spectrum
a greater focus is placed on yacoub's guitar playing, which has improved significantly over the years
a couple of songs do echo yacoub's past though, most notably the a capella "ami: âme: amen [friend: spirit: amen]," a song reflecting on a nightmarish summer when three close friends of yacoub's passed away, and "désir," which features a dueling guitar from nicolaïvan mingot and backing vocals from kate and anna mcgarrigle
yacoub has also successfully made the transition from performing mostly traditional material to writing most of the songs on this disc
most of yacoub's songs, including the title song, are love songs, usually tinged with a hint of melancholy and some indication that the romance has not survived
the lyrical themes diversify in the second half of the disc, though
"ces dieux-là [these gods]" reads a lot like john lennon's song "god," except that yacoub's list of things he does believe in is substantially longer and the chorus is very catchy and singable even to non-native speakers like me
on "beauté/12th song of the thunder," yacoub very successfully adapts two pieces of poetry from a navajo ritual
a couple of facets of yacoub's music have remained constant over time, though
for one thing, the passing years since malicorne have been mercifully kind to yacoub's voice
it remains very distinct and recognizable, and if anything, has matured and gained in character
most importantly, gabriel yacoub remains an intriguing and compelling performer, full of creative musical ideas and still perfectly capable of turning the ideas into first-rate music

scott gianelli - the green man review
gabriel yacoub
the simple things we said

long a favorite and treasured musician in his native france, gabriel yacoub is indeed an artist of the highest caliber
in america, yacoub has primarily been relegated to cult status, thanks to the brilliant and pioneering french folk-rock he created through the 1970s and '80s with his band malicorne
with a deft blend of renaissance harmonies, ancient (and created!) instruments, and studio wizardry yacoub crafted a body of work with malicorne that arguably was of more consistent excellence than his english counterparts in fairport convention
by the last of malicorne's albums, yacoub had presaged the rise of the world music phenomenon, and his production techniques bore enviable comparisons to those of peter gabriel

post-malicorne, yacoub has focused on his own solo career
the simple things we said marks the first widely-available yacoub album in the u.s
since elementary level of faith (shanachie) in 1987. the simple things we said is an acoustic project that offers some new songs, such as "dame: petite dame" and "mes belles anciennes compagnes," but primarily this set finds yacoub mining treasures from his prior solo recordings "bel," "quatre," and "babel." as such, the simple things we said affords american audiences a magnificent opportunity to hear what they have been missing:
primarily, gabriel yacoub's remarkable, rich, emotive voice, the beauty of which leaves many critics and fans justly floundering for superlatives
interestingly, yacoub sings more english on this cd than on others in his past; his version of richard shindell's mysterious and foreboding "you stay here" is a real highlight. the album is dusky and dark; it is as if yacoub is reflecting upon his career from within a deep wood
the spare arrangements on the cd primarily strip the songs to a core trio of yacoub, nathalie riviere on violin, and yannick hardouin on bass
they shine to great effect on "beaute/12th song of the thunder," managing a dense, trance-like wall of sound to connote the power of the wind
elsewhere, bassoon, cello, and hurdy-gurdy offer deep, subtle colors that make these new performances timeless
what emerges is a most welcome collection of songs: familiar, classic, and still groundbreaking; all roads leading to the inimitable, enigmatic yacoub

lee blackstone - the roots world bulletin #199
best folk albums of 2002

gabriel yacoub - the simple things we said [simple, 2003]
french singer / songwriter gabriel yacoub is known as the founder of the folk pop group malicorne in the 1970s
this album is an acoustic re-recording of some of his best recent solo work. yacoub's voice alone is amazing, and this album showcases his guitar style and voice with fidelity and passion. standout tracks include a cover of richard shindell's "you stay here," a chilling re-imagining of a war-torn family, as well as the traditional song from le berry, "le garçon jardiner" [the gardener boy]
best folk albums of 2002

twila oxley price - the current - ann arbor, MI
yacoub brings a sense of elegance to all the songs as well as emotional resonance that extends beyond any language barrier

gabriel yacoub has a deep lush voice, lightly accented when he sings in english, although most of the songs on "the simple things we said [les choses les plus simples] are in french
the arrangements are simple but the results are anything but simplistic; this is a polished and professional performance
yacoub brings a sense of elegance to all the songs as well as emotional resonance that extends beyond any language barrier
the partial translations in the liner notes are not particularly helpful, but the music is appealing
yacoub accompanies himself on guitar and is backed by able musicians on a variety of instruments, mostly stringed, and they provide just the right enhancement
notable tracks include "jour de lessive," "le garcon jardinier," "beauté | 12th song of the thunder" and a suitably chilling cover of richard shindell's "you stay here"
if you like solo singers and aren't particular about the language in which the songs are sung, then gabriel yacoub's "the simple things we said" is simply perfect

buy it from [the store]

donna scanlon - rambles
the simple things we said

gabriel yacoub
elf production 003
the simple things we said [les choses les plus simples]
14 tracks, 49 mins, essential lovely new album from this brilliant french singer, songwriter and guitarist - his first in quite a while
on this album gabriel revisits some songs he has recorded before along with some newer compositions
gabriel is one of the finest singers anywhere with a wonderful soulful and smoky voice
arrangements are kept simple - most tracks are just gabriel on guitar or mandocello with nathalie rivière | violin and yannick hardouin | bass plus occasional additional instrumental or vocal accompaniments
gabriel's music is deeply steeped in traditional music and although the material is mostly contemporary there is a strong traditional feel throughout
gabriel is expert at working with harmony vocals and a couple of tracks feature this spine chilling sound
my favorite track here is the magnificent jour de lessive based around a poem by late 19th | early 20th century writer and proto beatnik gaston couté set to a simply gorgeous tune by gabriel - it alone is worth the price of admission
the title song is a lovely song about communication and it opens the cd sung in english and ends it in french

frank scott - roots & rhythm
sur le net | on the net

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