In April, we told you why New Yorkers care about Carla Bruni, 40-year-old model-turned-pop-star-turned-first lady of France. Now the “21st-century amalgam of Jackie O, Lady Di and J-Lo” is coming out with her third album, Comme si de rien n’était this week. The title translates to ”As if Nothing Happened,” and it refers to the under-the-radar manner in which Bruni recorded the album over three weeks last winter, according to an article in Entertainment Weekly.
The reporter Missy Schwartz had a light-lunch kind of interview with Ms. Bruni, which resulted in lots of explanatory paragraphs and paraphrasing and not many quotations from Ms. Bruni. Here’s what she got out of her (in direct quotes, anyway):
After marrying the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, in February of this year, Bruni announced that, for reasons of security and propriety, she would not play live as long as her husband remains in office. ”It would be sort of obscene,” she says. At the same time, Bruni, once famous for her liaisons with Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger, decided that she shouldn’t have to give up her music career just because she happened to have married the leader of a G8 country. ”It’s not that I want to use my husband’s power to sell my songs,” she says, sitting in her home office after the BBC crew has left. ”I just don’t believe that women should drop everything. That’s something machiste” — macho — ”that I cannot bear.”
Her approval ratings are nearly double her husband’s (68 percent in a recent poll). And that’s before she’s begun the humanitarian work — most likely for women and children — that she plans on tackling in the coming months. ”There are things I can do to help people that are much more important than a singing career,” she explains. But nothing will keep her from her guitar for too long. Bruni will continue to compose and record, even if she can’t tour. Instead, she’ll simply stay at home and serenade her biggest fan: her hubby. ”I sing for him,” she says, beaming. ”He likes it.” We can only imagine.
But there’s also a fun little sidebar about Ms. Bruni’s favorite music, in which she discusses Amy Winehouse and… The Clash?
The Depression-era songstress ranks at the top of Bruni’s list of favorite blues artists. ”Her voice, her records — they still sound fantastic!”
Bruni has covered the legendary French crooner’s ”La Noyée” but calls his 1961 ”La Chanson de Prévert” ”the song I dream of writing.”
The sound of her friend Faithfull’s ”exalted voice” on the synthy ”The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” (written by Shel Silverstein) ”brings a tear to the eye.”
Bruni has been a fan since her teenage years, and now so is her son. ”He sings ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ with such a French accent! It’s really cute.”
”She’s so young, and so talented,” says Bruni of the Grammy winner. ”I love her voice, I love her songs, I love her face! I think she’s brilliant.”