[16 August 2010]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Add another color to that crayon box.
Highlighting yet another facet of the vocal versatility she exhibited on Crayons (2008), Donna Summer delivers a late-summer dance floor delight with her valentine to “The City of Light”. Penned with her longtime collaborator Bruce Roberts, “To Paris With Love” instantly conjures the glamourous aesthetic and catwalk rhythm of the world’s fashion capital. Peter Stengaard, who also produced Summer’s last one-off single “I Got Your Love” in 2005, is the mastermind behind the track’s infectious groove and dreamy ambiance.
Of the numerous vocal styles in her considerably colorful palette, Donna Summer paints the song with her falsetto. Her voice floats above Stengaard’s beats like a warm breeze at sunset. “Been around the world,” she intones before chanting “Lous, Louis, Louis Vuitton” as a coy nod to the legendary fashion house and paragon of Parisian panache. Lyrically, “To Paris With Love” emphasizes the city’s renown for romance, a veritable post card that promises finding love in a café or along the Seine. “You’ll fall in love when you make Paris your home”, she whispers before a high-pitched organ suggests the suspense of two sets of eyes meeting for the first time.
As the season of Kylie, Katy, and Kelis dims on the dance floor, Donna Summer’s game-changing return to the clubs is a welcome cocktail of class, style, and sophistication. Between the stratospheric orientation of Summer’s voice and the fluid pound-and-pulse of Stengaard’s production, “To Paris With Love” is one of the definitive gems of 2010, n’est-ce pas?
The single is currently available on iTunes via www.donnasummer.com. Donna Summer also embarked on a 10-city tour on 16 August that continues through 4 September.