Guestpost time again! Steve on the new Alizée album:
It’s probably safe to say that the release of Alizée’s 2010 “comeback” album, “Une Enfant du Siècle” – billed as a brave new style and change of direction – a concept album based around the life of American actress Edie Sedgwick – failed to resonate with the public at large, who obviously weren’t quite ready for the change of direction envisaged by the former teenage star. It wasn’t helped that the album was ultimately a mess of musical contradictions, and didn’t exactly set the (Francophone) world on fire.
So fast forward thee years and the release of Alizée’s fifth studio album, imaginatively titled “5” (her 5th album – geddit?) and it’s safe to say that the girl from Ajaccio is back with a vengeance. “5” is everything (and more) we were lead to believe that “Une Enfant du Siècle” was meant to be. With this album, without a doubt her best to date, Alizée hits upon the mature sound and style that she was striving for last time around.
The album’s opener “À cause de l’automne”, is as good a pop song as there is likely to be released this year, complete with an incredible 60’s intro, sweeping strings and a catchy chorus that embeds itself in your head. There’s a great mix of styles on this album, slower number such as “La guerre en dentelles”, “Mon chevalier” counterpoise nicely with “Je veux Bien” and “Le dernier soufle” both of which are great up-tempo songs.
Like most great albums, this feels very personal, indeed almost semi-autobiographical, and the lyrics would certainly appear to mirror upheavals in Alizée’s life, none more so than in the heartfelt “10 ans”. However, in an upbeat note, the album’s closer “Dans mon sac” wistfully hints at a new dawn, as if the recording of this album was part of a cathartic process.
This is a damn fine pop record. The production qualities are top notch, there’s great use of orchestral strings and horns which complement, never over-powering the vocals. Alizée has always had a great voice, but all too often never the material.
Alizée – Le dernier soufle