Alizée is a rather capricious and fascinating artist. Starting off as a protégée of Mylene Farmer she quickly became nation’s sweetheart, playing the role of lolita-turned-popstar. The first two albums were very successful and gave Alizée a status of international popstar, however, following a split between the singer and Mylene Farmer, Alizée’s career faced complications due to legal issues concerned with parting. Her first album without Farmer, Psychédélices, received moderate success but was nowhere near as popular as the first two records. At this point Alizée became more of a niche artist and so in 2010 her album Une enfant du siècle, although praised by critics as ‘excellent, deep and risky’, essentially proved to be too alternative for the mainstream audience and was a commercial failure. Now Alizée returns with her fifth album titled 5 and yet another change of style.
Une enfant was an ambitious, 80s electro experiment and although not so mainstream, after a few listens it opens up like a treasure box. The fans learned to appreciate the synth blended in smoothly with Alizée’s soft, layered vocals, which gave it a mysterious atmosphere. 5, on the other hand, feels more approachable and natural, with its ‘back to basics’ approach and acoustic instruments it’s completely different to her last album. It opens with the lead single À cause de l’automne – a romantic retro-like track that sounds as if it was taken straight from an old French movie.
Check out the stylish music video, inspired by the classic Bond films :
If I were to describe 5 in only five words, I would use: mature, relaxed, classy, cinematic and organic. For those reasons fans and critics alike will find it worthwhile although 5 is not aiming to win the crowds. It’s quite an intimate record, perfect to play softly in the background as you unwind after a long days work. The album is made up of 11 tracks, which stick to the concept of modern-day-vintage sound and show the maturing of ‘Lolita’ who we’ve learned to adore. 10 Ans is a nostalgic journey to the past with a rockabilly sound whereas Boxing club shows a radio-friendly potential with its warm-sounding keys and fuzzy, vintage guitar. The album ends with Dans mon sac, a song so beautifully raw and honest; it proves that a delicate voice, an acoustic guitar and simple melody is enough to make an impact. The fact that Alizée, an artist coming from a very successful mainstream background, was able to restrain from using any modern pop-gimmicks and still manage to create a great pop album is a statement on its own. If you enjoy quality pop with retro feel, you will definitely find something for yourself in 5.
5 was released on the 25th of March and is available for download on iTunes. The next single from the album is Je veux bien, released on the 22nd of April. Music video for the single will be shot in early May.