Sunday, 12 July 2009
Alizée Braves Public Exposure
The romantic poetic eruption of Myléne Farmer (the most visionary artist in pop, providing lyrics and production) and Laurent Boutonnat (providing music) intoxicates two very different albums sung by teenage starlet Alizée: 2000's Gourmandses and Mes Courants Électriques... from 2003. The first single to be spawned from the now legendary arrangement was Moi... Lolita, a sultry continental club song with foreboding verses, spiralling piano keys and compulsively swift chorus. The young popstar's vocals are mature beyond her years, exuding a similar expressive quality to her mentor, but have more abandon that Farmer understands well enough to pen such an intriguing, well-crafted song and not keep it for herself.
Below: a typical outfit for the singer promoting her debut single; dressed like the computer game character Chun-Li shooting Japanese schoolgirl porn:
Alizée's debut collection is a sweetly concieved affair, sung by the singer in a husky and unassuming manner throughout. The closing misty ballad A quoi rêve une jeune fille is poignant and paralyzes one with its haunting melancholy: an emotive chorus of church bells is tinged with festive pathos and suddenly one is powerless to resist the curse of human sentimentality. The emphatic album slice Vendi Vedi Vici is a thorny electronic dancefloor cut that sounds triumphantly paranoid. The title track could almost be 90s dance maestro's K-Klass breaking into the studio, with dizzy piano keys keeping Alizée's rhythm definately a mystery: her beguiling vocals sung elegantly on the album's penultimate track prick more than a bleeding fingertip. The ghostly single number 3, Parler tout bas, has the singer in a one woman choir and sounds like the Marie Fredriksson-penned Little Girl from Roxette's 2001 Room Service album. Elsewhere, L'Alizé is a similar punctuated parade to Lolita and was chosen as the second single.
Above: Alizée dresses like a less smutty Jessica Sutta, but sadly discarded Sutta's offer to record shabby club songs after the success of Moi Lolita throughout Europe; here she famously performs I'm Fed Up! on German TV using her innate alienation from rhythm to celebrate the single reaching 33 there that week.
Such a sustained sugar rush was refined as if using the same font, only this time in italics, on her sophomore album, an unequivocal bequeathal (with similar rich and wrestling textures) from Farmer who followed it up with her own Avant que l'ombre... album of 2005. The first single from Mes Courants Électriques... was the plucky I'm Fed Up! - upright and deliberately going against the grain of its namesake sensiment, using studied violins (like forrows on the foreheads of spectators), as if adding masterful strokes to a gloriously mischievious painting (probably a nude one - what are those French like, etc). The next single I'm Not Twenty! is a double spread of creamy, alluring verses and an aggresively rousing chorus. 'Get over your fame' might be sung politely given the angelic melody, but her discriminating moodiness matches the victorious instrumentation compelling her vocals as if they are mere spontaneous consequences of its staggering orchestra.
Below: 'Having fun is just fine' sighs Alizée as she puts on a brave face wearing more clothes than she is used to:
There are no conclusions to Alizée's songs here, perhaps this is merely the language barrier, but her vocals often cast haunting shadows and make me feel something that shall always leave me guessing and that is the most any pop star can ever ask for.