By April 5, 2010 1 Comments Read More →

New CD from Alizée

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Alizée recently released her fourth album (not counting the live album “Alizée En Concert”), named “Une Enfant du Siècle”, which translated more or less is “A Child of the Century”.  When I say more or less it’s because it’s named similarly to her own artist name, Alizée, which is the feminine form of “alizé” or trade wind, where “enfant” in French is masculinum, and the proper title should therefore be “Un Enfant du Siècle”, so perhaps the title is more aptly translated to “A Girl of the Century”.

The album is another step away from her origin and “Gourmandises” (Tidbits or Sweets) and “Mes Courants Électriques” (My Electric Currents), where the most well-known singles are “Moi, Lolita” (I, Lolita), “J’en Ai Marre” (I’m Fed Up), and “J’ai Pas Vingt Ans” (I’m not Twenty), which all more or less are about a growing young girls new-found sexuality.  These two albums were produced together with Mylène Farmer, knows for her daring texts.

After a four year long hiatus, Alizée returned, newly married, without Mylène and with a new record label with “Psychédélices” (a portemanteau between psyché and délices, meaning psychic or mind delights), with “Mlle Juliette” (Miss Juliet) being about Juliet trying to take control over her own life despite Shakespeare and her own indecision and the title number being about wondering where humanity comes from, why we are here and concluding that the delights of the mind is love.

All in all, there is a clear parallel to Britney, whose first two albums were about a young girl growing up, with the third and, in particular, fourth albums, “Britney” and “In the Zone”, getting much more mature.

Now, three years later, we have Alizée’s “Une Enfant du Siècle”, which is even more spiritual with the first single, “Les Collines (Never Leave You)” (The Hills (Never Leave You)), about getting out of the hectic everyday life and seeking refuge in the nature.  There has not been another single from the album, but I suspect it may be “Eden, Eden”, which is quite difficult to interpret, mostly because the language is quite complex for my French skills, but also because the lyrics are quite abstract. I’m guessing it’s about saying goodbye to one’s childhood (or, more precisely, going from a 14 year-old girl to a full-grown woman), and definitely not only in a non-sexual way.  The language and images are quite beautiful, though, clearly depicting daughters of eden leaving the sanctuary and innocence forever.

In general the language and images in “Une Enfant du Siècle” are much more evolved than “Des extremistes a deux balles” (extremities with two balls) and “la pluie, des courgettes” (the rain of zucchinis) of “J’en ai marre” – how can either of those two not be euphemisms for dicks? – or “Quand je rêve aux loups, c’est Lola qui saigne” (when I dream of wolves, it’s Lola who bleeds) of “Moi, Lolita”.  The more involved images and language makes for greater effort in understanding the songs, but this also naturally provides a greater pay-off.

Unfortunately, it seems like the change of style also has diminished the normally impressive dancing routines present in Alizée’s music videos (Alizée started her career as a dancer, and only reluctantly took up singing because she won a content in another category than she competed in).  This is a shame, especially seeing as the beginning of the period of “Psychédélices” actually seemed to introduce even more elaborate dancing routines, fitting the music excellently.  Oh well, one can hope this is mostly du to the more silent nature of “Les Collines (Never Leave You)” and not a permanent change.  It could also be a consequence of her moving further away from pop with this album.

To get more into Alizée’s lyrics, I can recommend alizee-reflections.net, where the lyrics from all (at least the first three, currently) albums are transcribed and translated to English, both using a (some times rather poor) direct translation and using a (sometimes quite good, more often rather ghastly) interpretive translation.

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1 Comment on "New CD from Alizée"

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  1. LD says:
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    Thanks for the rundown on her.

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