This is a track from 2004 – which was a pretty impressive year for pop music and Ma Philosophie sits comfortably alongside the best of the R&B ballads in the UK charts from the time. 2004 was also the year when reality TV music shows really got going, when the artists/contestants were still generally good but the music hadn’t totally infiltrated the market to the detriment of (almost) everything else. Amel Bent got through to the semi-finals of France’s version of Pop Idol, Nouvelle Star 2 and got signed after she left the show. She released her latest album in 2014 and looking at her Twitter account it appears she’s just had her first baby – Congratulations Amel!
The music buying people of France kept this at Number 1 in the charts for six weeks and it sold 500,000 copies which is pretty good going. My GCSE level French can keep up with bits of it and it’s clear enough that you could sing along approximately and still get a reasonable amount of the words right. Having run the lyrics through a translator I’m happy to say they are quite empowering, “I am the ace that beats the king” is one line that is particularly strong. It’s a R&B/soul ballad of the best sort.
You may also be interested in hearing Amel singing Eye of the Tiger.