Mylène Farmer’s new album is her “most intimate” and one of her best

The cover of The influence should not mislead the listener. If it reveals an “other” Mylène, half-alien, half-creature, floating (or prostrate) in a fetal position on a black background which isolates her, the album, released this Friday, is pure Farmer. “It’s been at least ten years since one of his records had been to this extent, underlines Sylvain Paturel-Voyer, creator of the podcast Mylène Farmer, Stories of… devoted to the artist. There are incredible ballads [Invisibles, Que je devienne…] as she knew how to do them before, poetic texts, more raw. We are in his world. She manages to keep us at home while wanting to take us elsewhere. »

“On first listen, I didn’t find that one track stood out more than another. As it has substance, relief, textures, surface, you have to listen to it several times, recommends Ludovic Huvier, producer of the podcast. I was struck by the beauty of the sound, there are a lot of strings, a predominance of pieces with symphonic orchestration. It’s a very successful album. »

He continues: “Given its title, there is necessarily something violent in it, but it is not difficult to access. It’s the Mylène Farmer we know, with her demons and her lights. I think anyone who likes variety can relate to it. »

A successful collaboration with Woodkid

The critical reception is warm. The Parisian salutes the “disarming voice (…), of an admirable clarity, surprising in certain bass” of the singer. Didier Varrodmusical director of the antennas of Radio France considers that it is about “his best album since Anamorphosed [sorti en 1995] “. Same Releaseusually unfriendly with Mylène Farmer, saves her gall with formulations that seem to be both compliment and reproach. The daily qualifies The influence of “morbid new-age pop dance rock blockbuster whose peaks are inevitably the highest pitched, rhythmless, laboratory-finished ones”.

However, this opus was not self-evident. The star was out of inspiration, “unable to write a single word”, she confided on Sunday in the columns of JDD. She was thinking of “stopping everything”. And then, Woodkid offered him his services. “I fantasized about this collaboration for a long time. The result is beyond what I expected. He managed to surprise me,” rejoices Sylvain Paturel-Voyer.

The musician, who composed seven of the twelve tracks on the album – which has a total of fourteen if we include two piano-voice versions -, remains faithful to his lyrical swerves without ever stifling the farmer’s touch. “It’s a meeting between two identities that have style. Whatever generation separates them [il a 39 ans, elle 61], they managed to find each other, says Ludovic Huvier. Thanks to the symphonic orchestrations he brought, she managed to do something modern and timeless. »

“They made him a box”

For this disc, Mylène Farmer also worked again with the group Archive, which produced three titles of Dark blue in 2010, and with Moby who has been used to collaborating since 2006 with the one who has become his friend. The American signs the melodies of the only two titles up tempo of The influence, Bottle in the sea and Turn on the light (without a doubt the disk tube). The group AaRon also brought him the song on a set Green Ray for which she had a crush – it is extremely rare that she interprets a text of which she was not the author. “This piece is a little gem, applauds the creator of Mylène Farmer, Stories of… What’s remarkable is that she worked with four very different people and it’s a crazy match. They made him a box. »

“This is not the first time that Mylène Farmer has worked on an album without Laurent Boutonnat [qui a pendant trente ans été le seul compositeur de ses mélodies] but, unlike the previous ones, there is something very homogeneous here, which is worthy of an album with a single producer at the helm”, supports Ludovic Huvier.

The phenomenon of influence

The coherence of the disc is also thematic. It’s about new beginnings, making a clean sweep, rebuilding. The title of the album, The influenceis addressed in three of the tracks: the eponymous song, For ever and no longer reborn. For many fans, Mylène Farmer evokes her personal experience. While he agrees that this is the “most intimate” album in his discography, Sylvain Paturel-Voyer prefers not to risk the game of interpretations.

“Does she talk about what she’s been through?” Or what relatives have experienced and which she has witnessed? I don’t know, he sweeps. In his interview at JDDshe said “Who hasn’t crossed paths with a so-called narcissistic evil person?” [elle dit aussi : “L’emprise est un thème qui me bouleverse et me met dans une colère noire”]… For my part, I listened to For ever to two people who have suffered the influence in their couples. They were flabbergasted that she fell so accurately. » Chance of the calendar or deliberate choice? It should also be noted that the disc is released on November 25, the world day for the fight against violence against women.

“She is no longer looking for the radio tube, she is free”

The influence does it represent risk taking? “No, says the creator of the podcast. She can do anything. She is no longer looking for the radio tube, she wants to express herself, she is free. Only she can afford a comeback like she did, by releasing a single on the radio, dropping a clip and… nothing else. We often talk about his discretion and his shyness but we should insist on his freedom. »

And to add: “Mylène Farmer is perhaps at the start of something else. Disobedience [son album studio précédent, en 2018] marked the end of a cycle. There we feel a desire to create, to surprise. »

Also, if the star baptized Nevermore (“Never again”) her next stadium tour – which she will launch on June 3 in Lille – it could well be that The influence or a musically half-open door on an encore.

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