A Star Is Born’s ‘La Vie en rose’

Everyone’s talking about A Star Is Born, myself included. This third reimagining of a classic Hollywood story has everybody absolutely enamoured with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, even more than we were before. A lot of us have stanned Lady Gaga since ‘Just Dance’ and have been in love with Bradley Cooper since ‘The Hangover’. This film saw Gaga making her feature film debut, as well as Cooper going behind the camera for the first time.

And it worked. I’ve found myself glued to the soundtrack for over two weeks now, I can’t get enough of it, I want to relive Ally and Jackson’s story as much as I can, I want to feel the story through the music and to feel what they felt as they went through the motions that fame brought them. Of course though, for this spotlight, I can only choose one track- and I’m not choosing ‘Shallow’, the song dominating worldwide charts, but another track that’s getting a little bit overlooked, Gaga’s rendition of ‘La Vie en rose’.

It’s a bold move tackling a song in another language, especially when said track is one of the most famous pieces of music from the last century. Originally performed by Édith Piaf in 1945, ‘La Vie en rose’, translating literally to Life in Pink, but more meaning life through rose-tinted glasses has been performed by an incredible amount of artists. Everyone has tried their hand at this French ballad, but none have done it like Gaga.

The song has nothing to do with the original A Star Is Born story, it’s never been featured in any of the older incarnations of this movie, and only finds itself present due to Bradley Cooper been blown away by Gaga’s rendition at a private function a few years prior, so impressed that he insisted she sing it for the movie. And it finds itself completely at home within this movie, with Gaga playing Ally, in drag, performing this to a packed club, which just so happens to be where Jackson Maine finds himself after a show. It’s the beginning of stardom for Ally, this song is the one which really whisks her away from her life as a server, to becoming the star she truly is.

Gaga’s voice is incredibly powerful, that shouldn’t come as a surprise as the woman has released pop albums, a country album, an experimental electronic album as well as a critically acclaimed jazz album. She’s a musical comedian and crushes everything she puts her mind to, including vintage French ballads. With only low, soft piano accompanying her, Gaga’s voice takes centre stage and has never been better than in this one song. Those who claimed she relied on overproduction, on interesting outfits and quirky videos are eating their hats now they listen to this.

‘La Vie en rose’ may not be the breakout song of A Star Is Born, but it represents the moment at which Ally took flight to really become a star. She was just as fantastic a songstress for 50 people as for 50,000, and no performance is as powerful and beautiful as this.

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David Thomas
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