Monday, November 19, 2007
A Wonderful Life album of 2004
In 2004, Lara released her second English album A Wonderful Life. The project was commercially disastrous but critically-praised. The album did not surpass the success of her previous English debut effort, but created a path for a sound and musical change that would trademark Lara's music onwards. The more organic sound is due to the exceptional work of French guitarist Jean-Félix Lalanne, and also working with producers such as Desmond Child and the British team True North (composed of Take That singer Gary Barlow and fellow mate Elliot Kennedy) among others.
The center piece of this record, as Lara stated on a promotional interview for this album, is "Review My Kisses", a song written by Desmond Child and planned to be recorded initially by Lara herself but was somehow left aside. Later in 2002, it was LeAnn Rimes who ended up recording it for her album "Twisted Angel." Lara ended up recording it for "A Wonderful Life" afterwards. The first single release (though only for radio) was "The Last Goodbye" in the US and most other countries (except France). The video premiered on Portuguese talk show "Herman Sic" one day before the album was released. In the meantime, Lara decided to release a different song in France, considering that "The Last Goodbye" was too "American" for an audience that was more used to her own songwriting. She released (with a video as well) the song "No Big Deal." Nevertheless, neither of the songs achieved massive or moderate success caused by Lara's personal decision to withdraw from the project, and also due to conflicts with Sony Music. This led to a lack of promotion for the album, as well as a cancellation of the album's release in the United States.
At least one song from the album saw some light and shining moments when included on a Brazilian soap opera, "I Guess I Loved You." Brazil is still one of those countries strongly passionate for Lara's music, and therefore this song was chosen for the soundtrack of "Senhora do Destino" (Lady Of Destiny) almost gaining the same popularity that "Love By Grace" did back in 2001. The song also gained some popularity in Portugal for the same reasons, though it was never officially released or promoted.
Lara was almost in complete seclusion for the rest of 2004 from the music scene, having left her second English record aside. Newspapers began speculating about a serious disease that had affected Lara. The drama was so big and so exaggerated that Lara herself proved to be well enough to appear on a short interview in Québec later that year, explaining some of the reasons she withdrew from the public eye and also why she left Québec (where she lived for nearly 15 years) and returned to her native Belgium.