'For some time, the world has been waiting for Mylene Farmer to unleash the same elusive, enchanted being that inhabited her startling 1991 album, 'L'Autre.' Finally, she has unlocked the secret room in which this Mystical Maiden has been kept hidden and the result is Mylene's most beguiling, magical, and sonically irresistible offering to date. This is the album that completes the journey begun with 'L'Autre.' Every song shimmers with sincerity and a supernatural dynamic that can often take one's breath away. Opening with 'L'Amour Naissant,' Mylene sets the tone for her musical expedition with a fresh blend of layered harmonies, soul-stirring drums, and ambient touches. Of course, the passion of her voice remains the pillar of fire that keeps this song churning, burning, and building into a celebration of Tragedy and the haunting power of human love. The album's first single 'L'ame-stram-gram' showcases Mylene's trademark sexual mischievousness with the pressing, danceable cloak-of-beats that have characterized her best hits. The third track is the best on the CD, but all those that follow never lose one iota of steam in their ability to captivate. It's almost as if Mylene has finally reached some fabled mountaintop. and from that peak she is writing, arranging, and singing with a clarity that causes the music to simply cascade down upon the listener like some form of sexy, tropical rain. A very pure, very driven, very human piece of musical genius. Of course, chapeaux must go off to Laurent Bouttanant, her conspirator in this wonderwork. C'est magnifique...sans aucun doute!'
'Living in Montreal, I have been exposed to Ms. Farmer's music for years. I became a fan when she released the 2CD set "Dance Remixes" in 1992 and I've paid close attention ever since. And just as that album brought Ms. Farmer to a whole new audience and a whole new clubland, this remix album brings her to a whole new level.
A big fan of remix albums, many of them fall flat (like the bonus remix disc in the PSB Box Set). But this one delivers two-fold. As the double CD set from 1992 just offered sorta extended versions of her singles with stronger beats and whispy effects, which was great in her case, the remixes on there are exceptional club mixes, this compilation offers total reworkings of her songs, and that IS what a remix truly should be. It should take the song, and turn it into something COMPLETELY different, hence it not being s VERSION but a RE-MIX.
If you have nothing to compare it to, as this is your first exposure to this brilliant French chanteuse, you will not really get a grasp of her style, as this album is a compilation of remixer's styles...and a fantastic one at that. If someone is going to put out a remix album, don't just compile ten songs that sound like the originals, but are longer. How lame is that? Make an album of REMIXES...something that, thankfully, more artists have grasped.
"Sans Contrefacon" is a fantastic track, but I just wish it had been ever so slightly more vocal. It kicks off the album very well, however. The remixes of "L'Instant X" and "XXL" are absolutely amazing and make both songs FAR better than the questionable originals... JXL is at the top of his game here, as the chorus just SOARS in his mix...and the bells in One-T's mix are awesome and the mix has such a great summer feel.
Full Intention, often being hit-and-miss, do ok with "L'Ame-Stram-Gram," as they use the same little guitar riff that Stardust used for their mega-hit "The Music Sounds Better with You." It's not a bad mix, but doesn't really go anywhere, thus the eight minutes do tend to drag a bit as the song becomes sorta a forgetful atypical club song. They should have cut down the length some, but I digress... Many might say the same of "C'est un Belle Journee," but the laid-back feel of this mix works well, I think, and it's only just a notch over five minutes...
The album kicks into super high gear with the absolute brilliance of Felix da Housecat. He took my favourite Mylene song, "Je T'aime Meloncholie," and made it into an absolutely SUPERB electro track. The song, being so dark and reverent, really needed a dark, deep mix, and Felix executed that with absolute PERFECTION. By far, the second best mix on the album. The mix of the vocals made shivers go up my spine. If I weren't in public the first time I heard it, I woulda been bouncing all over the place.
The same goes with Y-Front's mix of "Libertine," probably one of Ms. Famrer's best known songs, as Y-Front turned the song into an electro-80s flashback and they did it absolutely brilliantly, letting this incredible song soar in a whole new electronic light.
Both the mixes for "California" and "Optimistique-Moi" are very good club tracks that easily keep the NRG flowing throughout the second part of the disk.
But then there's the grand finale of Thunderpuss' absolute club ANTHEM mix of one of the best songs of the last twenty years, "Desenchantee." By far, the best mix on the album, as would be true with any album that included a mix by the now-defunct duo. What they did to this song...the impossible: they took a song already packed with energy, and brought new life and even MORE energy to it. To explain this mix goes beyond words...and you could not ask to a better conclusion to this album.
The compilation's biggest fault? What the hell were they thinking including Paul Oakenfold's HORRIBLE and COMPLETELY useless remix of "Pourvu Qu'elles Soient Douces"??? Oakenfold has does nothing but crap remixes for the last two years, and this mix was just another sign that maybe he should either go back to his heavy-duty club mix days when he was brilliant, or retire for good, before we have to sit through another mix like this. Sorry, Hitriman, but Oakenfold's mixes of the last few Madonna songs have been an embarrassment to him, along with everything else he has remixed lately (save J. Lo's "I'm Glad," which was the one good thing he has done, period, in the past few years), and they have all just been a complete aural waste of time.
If you want a fanstastic mix of "Pourvu Qu'elles Soient Douces," check out Boutonnat & Rogen's Remix Club on the 1992 double CD.
Ms. Farmer's "Remixes" is an astounding collection of styles, beats and rhythmes and, besides Oakenfold, a must-have for any fan, and a definite worthwhile purchase for anyone curious about Mylene...or just wanting a great dance album.'
'Mylene Farmer is known for her evolving musical style, her incredible vocabulary and complex cultural references. Her word play and her complexity of composition make the reasons she refuses to put together an English album very evident: you can't perform the same 'jeux de mots' using English.
Always unafraid of broaching the subjects of religion, politics, death, sex, love, and pain - this album defies her usual 'poppiness' by propelling into darker electronica. You get the feeling Mylene Farmer has moved from what had become predictable melancholy into...a, well melancholy version 2.0. She's in love, now...and the melancholy that is present on the album is more like wistful remembrance.
I'll give you a critique of the tracks...
(1) Avant Que L'Ombre (Before the Shadows...): the title track to the album - it has to be one of her strongest ballads to date. The song takes on the form of a prayer to God about fear and risk and love. Amazing high note at the end. Hauntingly beautiful.
(2) F*** Them All: the first single released - you get the feeling she used the expletive in the title to garner a bit of attention to her new album (though this was unnecessary as it was a number one pre-seller for months before its release). The video is beautiful and the themes of the song cover chauvinism, anti-war sentiment, and a commentary on shallowness. An interesting juxtaposition of themes with a somewhat bizarre arrangement.
(3)Dans Les Rues de Londres (In the Streets of London): inspired by 2003's "The Hours," this song traces sentiments and possible feelings of the tragic author Virginia Woolf. It is a really beautiful song reminiscent of "Hey Amigo" on Alizee's album "Mes Courants Electriques" (also penned by Farmer).
(4)QI (I.Q.): a play of words between "cul" in french and the letter "Q" (they both have the same pronunciation...save for "cul" means ass). A flirty song in that she says that although her boyfriend has a nice 'ass,' it was his I-Q that drew her to him. References to Rodin's sculptures and the identification with those sappy feelings of loving every little thing about someone save this song from being a bit cheesy.
(5)Redonne-moi (Give back to me): A beautiful ballad (read: typical Boutonnat-Farmer partnership) about trust and disappointment. A bit slow, melodically.
(6)Porno Graphique (Graphic Porno): One of the gems of the album. With zingers like: "je te dis qu'il n'y a pas d'porno chic" (there's no such thing as chic porn)...word play abounds, including rather naughty references to oral fixations. Really dark electronic arrangement...minor key...phenomenal song. A truly sexy, interesting song.
(7)Derriere Les Fenetres (Behind the Windows): Another slower ballad with beautiful lyrics - follows Farmer's musings on what might go on behind the windows of peoples' homes.
(8)Aime (Love): Another cute, up-tempo flirty song reinforcing the idea that the songstress is finally in love and has dropped a bit of the melancholy. This is very much a 'throwback' to Innamoramento - a very remixed album. Upbeat electro-arrangement. If it's released as a single, expect Innamoramento-era remixes with the digi-pack.
(9)Tous ces combats (All of those fights): A slower Boutonnat-Farmer ballad about lover's quarrels. A bit unimaginative, melodically.
(10)Ange, parle-moi (Angel, Speak to Me): A really beautiful song about love, trust, doubting God, prayer, and looking for divine intervention. Reminiscent of Jewel's "Angel Standing By" and Nathalie Cardone's "Mon Ange" (which, ironically was penned by Laurent Boutonnat...Mylene's composer).
(11)L'amour n'est rien (Love is nothing): A very flirty song implying you have to take risks to make your love something out of the ordinary. Arguably the most chipper song on the album.
(12)J'attends (I'm waiting): Another ballad
(13)Peut-etre toi (Maybe you): Another up-tempo dance track that remixers will have a field day with...lyrically not as complex as most of Farmer's songs, it is a very enjoyable song dealing with the same themes as many of the other more upbeat songs: Mylene's in love and is going to sing about it.
(14)Et pourtant (And However...)/Nobody Knows (a hidden track): a striking ballad that ends the album...and then a phenomenal hidden track "Nobody Knows." Mylene's played a lot more with English on this album...and it pays off with this haunting, darkly electronic track.
Overall, this album is a bit of a change for Farmer. The common thread running through the songs is her recent successful relationship with one of the artists she collaborated with on the video clip for "C'est une belle journee." The sadness, death, religion, sex commentary is still there - but the hopefulness that rises from the minor key arrangements is something rather remarkable. Anamorphosee was Farmer's rock-pop ticket to change for the 90's. Innamoramento was her pensive life-questioning album that blended ballad with power-house electronic arrangements. Avant Que L'Ombre is the culmination of an extremely successful 20-year career (she is, in fact, the most successful French artist of all time...and no wonder). It's an evolution and a finesse that mark this album as something different from the pack. I'd challenge anyone to find any other artist in the WORLD who had such profound lyrics and such layered, complex musical arrangements. And of course, the intricate packaging is amazing. I even purchased a collector's edition (from France) that was an oversized (18"x18") velvet box with a giant coffee table book verstion of the album. She's the queen of marketing, the queen of lyrics, the queen of arrangements. And whether you love her or hate her...you have to admit you admire her.'
A phenomenal, mature work - 5 / 5
Written byJ. I. Sizemore "AmerlocParigot" www.amazon.com
'Mylene is back! How can I describe the anticipation for the release of this album?? Since the Queen's last gem, Avant Que l'ombre, people can't wait to see what's next?! While AQL was very different from any of her previous albums, with more mature, softer tones and much much more strings! I personally think it was great and "f**k them all" is an all time favourite of mine.
Now arrives "Point de suture" (PDS) and what a pleasant arrival. The first single to be released was Degeneration which is a dance single with clever catchy beats but to be honest, not a favourite of mine. However, people are not to worry as the rest of PDS is way way way much better!
The immediate winner and a definite hit is "appelle mon numero" this is MF through and through. It will remind you of her older material, the great tunes from Laurent Bottonnat together with mylene's lyrics and angelic voice with avery very catchy beat make this an immediate hit. I'm sure it will be released as a single and be a big one too 5.5/5
"Point de Suture", thetitle track, "Réveiller le Monde", and "Si J'Avais au Moins" are three beautiful ballades that compete with each other for the most sublime song on the album. They remind me of MF classics from previous albums. They combine the darkness of her earlier "L'autre" and her atmospheric gem "Innamoramneto". The three songs are different but carry that same tenderness with a slight touch of sadness, only to feel soothed and calmed after a few listens, absolutely sublime 5/5 each.
"Je M'Ennuie" and "Paradis Inanimé" are two very well produced ballades, you can not help but admire MF's lyrics and LB's music in that usual magic combination, a bit darker and with some more down tunes but still not too dark to take the mood of the album down but rather keepm it floating in the beautiful cleanly produced and cleverly crafted atmosphere left behind by the previous three songs. 4/5 each.
"Sextonik" and "C'est dans l'Air" are faster and where MF shows her cheeky, naughty and upbeat side as if to say to fans, I want you to think of deep lyrics in my ballades but would like to see you have a good time and some fun too. 3.5/5 each. Looking for My Name, a duet with Moby. Not 100% sure about this one and I reserve my judgement till I've had further listens
All in all, another great album form MF. Very well produced and back to what she does best, write beautiful lyrics and combine them with the magical tunes of Laurent Bottonnat. You'd have to take your hat of to both of them. They've been around for 23 years now and MF remains the most successful female french singer. She is the only female able to fill large stadiums with fans over and over again. The intelligent and tender lyrics, I just don't understand how she keeps coming up with them after all these years. Mylene is my favourite artist of all time. This CD will remain in my car, computer and by our bedside for a long time. AQL is still being played in my house three years after its release and I'm sure PDS will have the same impact. Thank you Mylene for being who you are and giving us more and more of soul food.'
The undisputed Queen is back, We love you! - 5 / 5
'i had the privilege of attending Mylene's concert at the Stade de France on the 12th of September, the singer's anniversary. i couldnt help grabbing this live double cd in my seemingly endless wait to finally watch the DVD (that's in march 2010). the setlist here is the one that's played in the closed venues, not the SDF. it features a slightly different setlist. but it still rocks. the fox kickstarts the show with rocker 'paradis inanimé', gives an even more techno version of her '99 hit 'ame stram gram', tones it down with 'je m'ennuie', and takes the public by surprise with a beautifully rearranged 'appelle mon numero' , a hot ballad taken from her latest album. the show's surprises were the inclusion of 'a quoi je sers' and 'ainsi soit je', 2 of her earliest songs and very rarely sung live. the first CD, although containing a few beat-driven cuts, is mostly in the mid tempo-slow range without however becoming soporific at any time. at 48, the elegant redhead still packs a vicious aural and visual punch. it's with the second CD that the audience goes hysterical; with uber-catchy tunes like 'libertine', 'degeneration', 'desenchantee' and 'c'est dans l'air, the show switches to hyperdrive, with jaw dropping laserworks, costumes and choreographies complimenting the sonic fest. the closure is perfect with the title 'si j'avais au moins...' a power ballad from her 'point de suture' album, only performed in closed venues and unfortunately we didnt get to hear it at the SDF (but hopefully it will be edited into the DVD). i had to remove a star because of the dreadful omission of one of Farmer's signature songs(CALIFORNIA, for chrissakes!!) in this audio setlist. i find it ridiculous to have a forgettable song like 'je m'ennuie' instead of 'california'. i just dont understand. maybe it's a smartypants marketing move to get people to also buy the DVD to watch the SDF setlist (which includes 'california') but i, like many other MF fans were anyway planning to get the dvd since we know how well crafted are her concerts and that owning the DVD is 100 times more satisfying than listening to the audio version. that's how good an MF concert looks like and i dont think the audio setlist's choice of tracks was a good choice mainly because of the CAPITAL omission i mentioned. '3 months to go (: ...'
mylene's own No.5 - 4 / 5
Written bytorquemada "sweating_demon" www.amazon.com
* Words: Mylène Farmer * Music: Laurent Boutonnat Except "Pas le temps de vivre", "Méfie-toi", "Optimistique-moi", "Serais-tu là ?", "Et si vieillir m'était conté". Words and music: Mylène Farmer
* Producer: Laurent Boutonnat * Keyboards and programmations: Laurent Boutonnat * Drums: Abraham Laboriel Jr, Mathieu Rabate, Denny Fongheiser * Bass drum: Abraham Laboriel , Jerry Watts, Billy Sheehan * Guitars: Jeff Daklgren * Additional guitars: Chris Spedding, Frank T. Simes * Flutes, cymbalum, bagpipes: Pol Ramirez del Piu * Backgrounds vocals: - "L'Âme-stram-gram", "Souviens-toi du jour", "Innamoramento", "Optimistique-moi": Carole Rowley - "Dessine-moi un mouton", "Souviens-toi du jour": Sophia Nelson, Caroline Pascaud Blandin, Johanna Ferdinand
* African vocals on "L'Amour naissant" and "Mylenium": Sophia Nelson, Angeline Annonier, Joëlle Jaque Gustave, Johanna Ferdinand, Marie-Jo Plezel * Mixed by: Bertrand Châtenet * Sound: Bertrand Châtenet, Philippe Colonna, Rik Pekkonen * Assistants: Rafa Sardina (Record One), Mike Scotella (Record One), John Sorensen (Ocena Way), Jérôme Devoise (Guillaume Tell) * Recorded at: Ocean Way Recording. Inc., Hollywood (L.A.), Record One (L.A.) * Mixed at: Record One (L.A.), Guillaume Tell (Paris, France) * Mastering: André Perriat (Top Master, Paris) * Management: Thierry Suc for TSM * Executive production: Paul Van Parys for Stuffey Monkey * Photos: Marino Parisotto Vay * Design: Henry Neu for Com' N.B
* Editions : Requiem Publishing Except : "Sans contrefaçon", Pourvu qu'elles soient douces" and "Libertine" : Universal Music Publishing / BMG Music Publishing France
* Record label : Polydor * Artistic direction : Romain Bilharz and Paul Van Parys * Production : Lionel Grosheny, with Damien Fischetti * Mastered at Top Master, by André Perriat and Bruno Gruel * Photography : Ellen Von Unwerth / H§K * Design : Brigitte Gautier * Execution : Henry Neu for Com' N.B
* Words: Mylène Farmer * Music: Laurent Boutonnat Except "L'amour n'est rien..." : Music : Laurent Boutonnat & Mylène Farmer
* Produced by Laurent Boutonnat * Mixed by Jérôme Devoise * Sound :Jérôme Devoise * Programmation, keyboards, arrangement : Laurent Boutonnat * Guitars : Philippe Paradis Except "Ange, parle-moi" and "Et Pourtant..." : Jean-Marie Ecay
* Bass : Philippe Chayed * Drums : Loïc Pontieux * Piano ("Ange, parle-moi" and "Et Pourtant...") : Yvan Cassar * Cello ("Derrière les fenêtres") : Jean-Philippe Audin * Clarinet ("Redonne-moi") : Jérôme Devoise * Percussion and xylophone : Pol Ramirez del Piu
* Strings arrangement : Jean-Jacques Charles and Graham Preskett * Vocals : Mylène Farmer * Studio : Guillaume Tell * Assistant : Tristan Monrocq * Mastering : André Perriat and Bruno Gruel for Top Master * Management : Thierry Suc for TS3 * Executive production : Paul van Parys for Stuffey Monkey * Assistant of Mylène Farmer : Brigitte Gautier * Assistant of Laurent Boutonnat : Emiline Chetaud * Administration : Corinne Potier * Photos : Dominique Issermann * Design : Henry Neu for Com'N.B
* Produced by Laurent Boutonnat * Sound and mixing : Jérôme Devoise * Management : Thierry Suc for TS3 * Executive production : Paul van Parys for Stuffed Monkey * Arrangements, programmation and keyboards : Laurent Boutonnat * Guitars : Sébastien Chouard - Tristan Monrocq on "C'est dans l'air"
* Basses : Bernard Paganelli * Drum kit : Matthieu Rabaté * Mellotron, flute, percussion : Pol Ramirez del Piu
* Background vocals : Mylène Farmer, Alexia Waky, Desta Huilé, Mamido Bomboko, Aline Bosuma - Esther Dobong' Na Essiene and Dominique Rosier on "C'est dans l'air"
* Recorded at Studio ICP (Brussels), assistant : Vincent van Driesten at Studio Calliphora * Mixed at Studio Guillaume Tell (Paris), assistant : Tristan Monrocq * Mastering : André Perriat at Top Master, assistant : Jérémy Henry * Boutonnat's assistant : Emeline Chetaud * Administration : Corinne Potier * Photos : Atsushi Tani, assistant : Volvic Nakano * Doll made by Etsuko Miura * Made in the E.U.